Proposed animal control ordinance in Conshohocken meeting opposition

Last week, reported on the text of a proposed animal control ordinance that is scheduled to be voted on by Conshohocken’s Borough Council on October 20th.

There are two efforts opposing the ordinance.

The first is focused on the proposed prohibition on feeding feral cats. The group is organized in a Facebook Group and is already fundraising and purchasing traps. The group believes that feral cats should be trapped, neutered, released, and allowed to be fed. They are concerned that the feral cats will starve.

The second focuses on the proposed ordinance limiting the ability to keep chickens to those who have a single-family detached home. In addition, the number of chickens allowed would also be capped at three, and a coop would be required.

The online petition circulating outlines the grievances with the proposed ordinance as follows:

The allowance of keeping chickens only in single-family detached dwellings wholly discriminates against residents of Conshohocken Borough based on income. Individuals or families who cannot afford single-family detached homes in Conshohocken are excluded from the right to keep chickens.

The borough is attempting to control how its residents obtain their food, forcing lower-income families to purchase from grocery stores. During this pandemic, we’ve all experienced food shortages and bare shelves in the grocery stores. Backyard chickens have provided a relatively steady supply of eggs for those who are lucky enough to have them.

There is no basis to the maximum number of chickens (three) proposed by the ordinance. Chickens are flock animals and are happier in groups. To limit the number of allowed chickens to three almost guarantees unhappy, and therefore, unhealthy chickens.

The location of the chicken coops is, again, discriminatory against families and individuals who do not own large plots of land within the borough. To be a minimum of thirty (30) feet from any adjacent building would require the property’s backyard to be at least sixty (60) feet wide. How many properties in Conshohocken would meet this requirement? Very few, if any at all.

Let us know what you think in the comments.