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Rules reining domestic fowl, other animals set for hearing Oct. 11

The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 on a proposal that would prohibit owners of domestic fowl - or of any other animal for that matter - from allowing their animals on private property without that owner's permission.

The amendment to the animal control chapter of the town's miscellaneous offenses ordinance would extend current prohibitions on wandering horses, cows, oxen, swine, goats or other grazing animals to all animals; and further extend it to private as well as public property.

The prohibition does not include dogs, which are covered in a separate chapter of the ordinance.

Officials proposed the amendment so law enforcement could more quickly respond to complaints of domestic fowl unwantedly roaming onto neighboring properties.

The rewording would give municipal authority to respond to situations currently governed by state provisions, said Town Manager Matthew Sturgis at the council's meeting Sept. 11. Patty Grennon, town councilor who heads the ordinance subcommittee, said the eliminating the list of specific animals gives the regulations more teeth.

The October meeting of the Town Council will be held on the second Wednesday because of the Columbus Day holiday.