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Russellville animal ordinance limits livestock, chickens

Russellville City Council passed an addition to its animal ordinance concerning livestock, fowl and wild animals in its regular meeting May 3.

“This is something we have been discussing for some time,” said Russellville Mayor David Grissom. He said the ordinance has been a topic of discussion for several weeks, giving councilmen time to receive community feedback.

The ordinance passed in a 5-1 vote, with the vote against it coming from Councilman Darren Woodruff.

Woodruff said his issue with the ordinance is with the law against keeping fowl, including chickens, inside city limits.

“I feel like we should be able to tell the community that they can have chickens for eggs if it’s supervised and they’re not running wild,” Woodruff said. “I didn’t want to say ‘No, you can’t have any’ because there are a lot of people who keep chickens for fresh eggs.”

Woodruff said he wanted to clarify chickens are not the same as roosters, which he is not in favor of inside city limits.

Woodruff said he hopes this part of the ordinance is something the council revisits later to look at amending, but as written, he felt inclined to vote against it.

Councilman Gary Cummings had questions about the ordinance as it related to exotic animals, particularly snakes and people who keep those as pets.

City Attorney Danny McDowell said any snakes domestic to the area could, of course, be loose, and there was nothing the city could do about that. Any snakes not native to the area would need to be in a tank.

“I just know there are a few people for whom that issue would probably come up,” Cummings said.

The new ordinance addresses livestock, fowl and wild and exotic animals inside the city limits.

Any violations will receive a three-day written notice by the city. The ordinance became effective after the May 3 city council meeting.

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