Los Angeles tries to limit its rooster count

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Some Angelenos use them as alarm clocks. Others use them for sport. Whatever the reason people keep roosters, the L.A. City Council has voted to limit them to one per property. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says violators face fines of up to $250 when the law takes effect in a couple of months.

One person’s reminder of the country life can be another's annoyance. So it is with roosters in the city of L.A. Enough people complained about the noise and the potential for disease – remember avian flu? – that the city council’s public safety committee drafted the rooster-limitation ordinance. Council members also said they want to curb bird breeding for cockfights, an illegal blood sport.

The ordinance expresses the city’s wish to balance individuals’ desires to keep roosters with their neighbors’ rights to live in peace and tranquility. The ordinance includes a grandfather clause. Multiple roosters on the same property will be able to spend the rest of their lives there, but the keepers will not be able to replace more than one of those birds. Educational farms, zoos, and compounds that keep roosters for use in the entertainment industry are exempt, too, if they maintain the proper permits.