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West Carthage board weighs laws on farm animals, solicitation

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WEST CARTHAGE — The village Board of Trustees is moving forward on two local laws concerning the harboring of farm animals and solicitation.

Since April there has been a moratorium on harboring farm animals, defined as “any domestic species of animal that is kept and raised for use as food or in the production of food or in the operation of a farm and is not a house pet such as a dog, cat or similar animal.”

At Monday’s meeting, Village Clerk Deborah J. Pierce presented board members with a questionnaire to gauge their mind-sets about formulating a new law.

It has been proposed to not allow horses, pigs, cows, sheep, goats, roosters, geese, turkeys, alpacas or llamas, but what about pot-bellied pigs? The animal is a domesticated breed people have as house pets. The questionnaire also inquires about homing pigeons because the proposed law allows rabbits, hens and ducks.

The questionnaire also touches upon animal slaughtering, sale of animal products, permits and fees and limiting the number of animals.

The moratorium does not affect farm animals already in the village but bans the introduction of such animals. It was renewed in November for 180 days.

The restriction was put in place after a resident inquired about keeping chickens, officials found there were no regulations on the issue and the board wanted time to study it. The board expressed concerns that because growing food at home has become more popular, poultry and other farm animals could present a problem if they are not regulated.

Following the city of Fulton lawmakers’ lead, the board is also seeking to strengthen its solicitation laws. In 2000, Diana M. Cooper of Fulton in Oswego County was murdered in her home by a door-to-door salesman. At the urging of Ms. Cooper’s family, the Fulton Common Council amended its law to protect residents. The law requires permits for solicitors and regulates where at the home a salesperson may go. In Fulton, a resident may also post a no-solicitation notice.

The West Carthage clerk provided board members with information about the Fulton law for consideration in amending the village’s legislation.

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