Branson, Missouri is discussing amendments to its animal ordinance. Changes include a sweeping ban on "exotic" animals (vague language which could be enforced upon anything not considered domesticated) and a pet limit for dogs and cats of four total animals.
Pet owners in Branson should contact their officials immediately before this bad proposal proceeds. Remember to be civil and professional when contacting officials. They need to be educated on the topic. Even the information provided directly by city officials for the article is vague and this proposal is rife with unintended consequences due to lack of forethought.
Draft ordinance on pages 37-45: www.cityofbranson.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09192019-1497
Article from local media: www.bransontrilakesnews.com/news_free/article_d144639c-def7-11e9-8f67-8f79d2a9e619.html
Local residents should identify their representative Aldermen and contact them directly, letting them know you are stakeholders in their wards.
Link to Aldermen with phone numbers: www.cityofbranson.org/Directory.aspx?did=4
Email list: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, bsimmons@BransonMO.gov, rcastillon@PyramidRoofingKC.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Kevin.McConnell@ExpressPros.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Additionally, you can submit comments through the website at www.cityofbranson.org/FormCenter/Report-A-7/General-Comments-Concerns-Compliments-an-58.
Subject line: Opposition to Chapter 14 Animal Ordinance changes
Mayor Akers and Branson Board of Aldermen,
As a responsible animal owner, I encourage you to further research your proposed amendments to Chapter 14 regarding animals. These changes are rife with unintended consequences and you may not be aware of how many people will be impacted.
City officials have stated similar ordinances are commonplace while actually ordinances with such blanket bans on exotic animals are changing across the country as the broad bans usually date back many decades, making them outdated. As just one example, next door in Oklahoma the city of Norman had a blanket exotic ban and updated it just a couple of years ago.
To give an idea of how many people will be affected, pet reptiles are found in over 5 million homes in the U.S. That is about 5% of Americans or 1 in every 20 households. In Branson, that could be 600 people affected just for having pet reptiles. Most people consider these pets to be exotic and they would be banned under this vague and broad ordinance. Nearly 2,000 species of reptile and amphibians are kept under human care and they could all be banned under this proposal.
Additionally, the pet limit of four animals is irrational and far overreaching. Someone cannot have three dogs and two cats? Who are you to tell a person he cannot responsibly and humanely care for three dogs and two cats? There are animal welfare laws in place which should be enforced, not this unconstitutional form of government in our living rooms. The simple fact is that the welfare of the animals should be the focus and not some bureaucrat telling me I cannot humanely have five pets. These pet limits do nothing to stop animal hoarding and that has been demonstrated time and time again. They only punish responsible citizens. Animals hoarders have mental health disorders and this law will not stop nor cure those problems. Animal welfare laws already on the books can be used in these situations.
Please reconsider this overreaching ordinance and seek public input from those who keep these animals. Thank you for your time and have a good day.
Mayor Akers and Branson Board of Aldermen,
I ask that you further investigate your proposed changes to Chapter 14 regarding pets as a responsible pet owner. These changes will negatively impact many Branson citizens and I do not feel enough research has gone into the matter.
Many fairly mainstream pets will be banned under this proposal. For instance, pet reptiles are found in 5% of U.S. households and this ordinance would ban them under the vague language used. Even animals like parrots could be banned as the definition of exotic is open for interpretation. Additionally, pet limits have been shown to be impractical and ineffective.
Please rethink this proposal and do not take an unconstitutional, collective punishment approach. This is not what I would expect to see here in Missouri. Have a good day.