Nearly a year after Castle Rock overhauled its animal code, which included repealing the town's pit bull ban, town staff members are researching the removal of other animal bans, specifically of …
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Nearly a year after Castle Rock overhauled its animal code, which included repealing the town's pit bull ban, town staff members are researching the removal of other animal bans, specifically of miniature pigs, goats and ducks.
Mayor Jason Gray directed the town attorney to return at a later council meeting with more information on the bans following a brief discussion on the animal code during the Feb. 19 meeting. A town spokeswoman said staff expect to return with a presentation in the spring or summer after gathering more community input. They do plan to recommend a size limitation on pigs, she said.
Councilmembers had debated whether they should more formally consider keeping or removing pig, goat and duck bans.
Town Attorney Bob Slentz said the town received some requests to relax rules on those animals in the previous process to update the animal ordinance. Council voted in May to approve a sweeping update of the animal code, covering everything from chickens to bees to service animals. It also replaced the town's breed-specific ban barring pit bulls with a system that regulates a dog's behavior, not breed.
Councilmembers George Teal, Jason Bower and Jess Loban expressed support for researching the pigs, goats and ducks issue, saying they have constituents with interest in owning those animals, while Councilmember James Townsend said he opposed taking it up.
For Bower, more talks on the issue would be a chance to learn about the differences between caring for animals like goats versus dogs or chickens. He also expects that to some people pigs, goats and ducks are pets, but to others they're a form of urban farming.
Bower described Castle Rock as a ranching community with a strong 4-H presence, albeit one with many new residents. Participants in 4-H often raise a variety of animals, including livestock through the program. Loban said he felt it was better to have an open discussion about the bans than to move past the topic.
Townsend raised some concerns about removing the bans, which he said was based on information provided by town staff and law enforcement. Enforcing an animal code that permits new animal breeds would require additional training for animal control and officers, he said.
They'd need to know how to care for goats, pigs and ducks and have the proper equipment if, say, those animals were to get loose from their homes or be confiscated from abuse situations. Townsend believes that all translates to added cost for the town.
Teal said as the issues stand now, he's in favor of lifting the bans, but he wants to learn more.
“I think at the very least it's a good discussion and a good presentation,” Teal said, “where we can weigh the pros and the cons.”
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