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On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to limit the keeping of roosters in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. This important action was taken to curtail ongoing problems with illegal cockfighting and associated criminal activities, improve quality of life for residents, and reduce complaints of noise and odor associated with keeping large numbers of roosters.  The keeping of hens is not regulated by this ordinance. The majority of cities in Los Angeles County already prohibit or limit the number of roosters allowed, and several counties in California have already enacted similar ordinances.

“We are so pleased that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have taken this important step to protect animal welfare and public safety, and that animals of Los Angeles County will be safer as a result of this ordinance,” says DACC Director Marcia Mayeda.

The ordinance will go into effect in 30 days. Between October 25 and December 31, 2018 DACC will work with rooster owners to bring them into compliance with the ordinance’s requirements through education and outreach efforts.  However, complaints regarding noise, unsanitary conditions, and animal abuse or neglect will be immediately enforced.  Beginning January 1, 2019 DACC will begin enforcing the rooster limits set forth in the adopted ordinance.

Rooster owners who wish to exceed the number of allowed roosters may apply for an animal facility license, which will cost $25 and require an annual property inspection.  Provisions exist to accommodate the agricultural educational goals of 4-H and FFA club members. No more than 25 roosters may be kept or maintained on any property, which is considered sufficient to accommodate poultry enthusiasts who raise chickens in rural areas for hobby purposes.

Rooster owners who wish to apply for an animal facility license may call the DACC Business Licensing Division at (562) 345-0323. The adopted ordinance may be viewed in its entirety on the DACC website at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov.