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City of LA: One Rooster Per Household. Chip That Cock!

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In an affront to chicken lovers everywhere, the City of LA is considering two motions next week that may limit the rights of our roosters to cock-a-doodle at will while also limiting the rights of homeowners to enjoy the company of more than one rooster. The motions, originally introduced in October, will be heard at the May 7th council meeting, and were introduced under the guise of fighting blight, protecting property values, stopping the bird flu and cock fighting - which can also result in prostitution, gambling, gang activity, human trafficking, drugs, and weapon sales. Evil, filthy birds! The motions, introduced by Councilwoman Janice Hahn (representing the Pedro!) also requires that pet roosters be microchipped and that a "mechanism" be established to respond to complaints of noisy roosters.


The majority of roosters bred, raised or kept within the city of Los Angeles are used for the illegal blood sport called cockfighting. The noise, odors, health and sanitation issues caused by the keeping of multiple roosters creates a serious public nuisance which disturbs the comfort and peaceful enjoyment of private and commercial property in Los Angeles, violates State laws, and negatively impacts the values of properties and quality of life in many communities.

Maintaining, transporting or importing uninspected birds for the purpose of illegal fighting can cause the spread of deadly avian diseases, including Avian Flu and Newcastle Disease, to birds and poultry within the city. Cockfighting events promote illegal gambling operations, prostitution, human trafficking, drugs, weapon sales, and attract other criminal and gang activities into residential communities, endangering innocent adult and children who reside there.

The Chief of Police, City Attorney and other City law-enforcement agencies agree that the "broken window" approach (addressing criminal problems at the most elementary level) is essential and effective in ridding our streets and neighborhoods of gang activities. Law abiding citizens are fearful to report cockfighting in their communities for fear of retaliation, thus making it difficult for law enforcement to enforce the laws against this cruel and illegal blood sport.

Many cities in the Los Angeles area have banned roosters within their city limits and other communities have limited the number allowed per property to successfully abate the nuisances created by roosters and give law enforcement a powerful tool in the prevention of cockfighting. There needs to be a balance between the desires of individuals to keep these animals on their private property and the rights of their neighbors to live in peace and tranquility.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the ownership of roosters be restricted to one per property within the City of Los Angeles, subject to the following exceptions:

a) Any person or entity already having a valid permit for one or more roosters (e.g. petting zoos) should continue to keep and maintain those roosters as long as they have a valid permit;

b) A producer, director or other person in authority in a film, television or other media production, should be able to apply for and receive a permit from the City allowing a rooster or roosters to enter and remain in the City for the limited purpose of being used in a film, television or other entertainment production. The rooster or roosters should be removed from the City at the completion of each workday once filming ceases for the day or night;

c) Persons who having a legitimate and lawful reason to keep up to three (3)roosters on their premises and can satisfy the City that said roosters will not cause significant nuisances to their neighbors should be allowed to apply for a permit from the Department of Animal Services;

d) Anyone who owns up to three (3) roosters as pets at the time of enactment of this ordinance should be allowed to apply for a "grandfathering" permit, which would allow them to retain these specific pets for the remainder of their natural lives, providing that such pet roosters are microchipped for permanent identification and are maintained in accordance with other sections of the Municipal Code governing the possession of fowl within residential zones of the City.

I FURTHER MOVE THAT the City Attorney be requested to report to Council with a draft ordinance including a recommendation as to what an appropriate penalty might be for a violation of this proposed new law.

Presented by:

Councilwoman, 15th District

· Council File Number:07-3492 [City of LA]
· Council File Number:07-3491 [City of LA]