All local animal owners need to review the proposal and contact city officials as this proposal affects all animals. Natchez, Mississippi has proposed a blanket ban on all "exotic" animals and also common livestock. There are also new permits and regulations for dogs and cats.
The exotic animal ban will include every species except "dogs, cats, pot-bellied pigs or other common household pets." Any exotic animal will be seized from the owner.
All livestock (only dogs, cats and pot-bellied pigs are excluded) will be banned but there is a grandfather clause for livestock held before the ordinance passes. That means no livestock animals could be kept in the future. To qualify under the grandfather clause the animals must be kept at least 300 feet from any neighbor. Additionally, any premise with grandfathered livestock can be randomly inspected by animal control at any time.
For dogs and cats, the proposal includes a new annual $150 Breeding/Unaltered Animal Permit for each animal. That means if someone has three unaltered dogs, the annual fee is $450 (that's $4,500 over 10 years). The dog/cat permit qualifications are very restrictive. New tethering and Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) regulations are also included.
The full exotic animal ban reads:
"The provisions of this article shall not apply to dogs, cats, pot-bellied pigs or other common household pets.
If any exotic wild animal is found within the city limits the game warden will be summoned for the animal(s) removal."
LINK to full proposal: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Natchez-MS-animal-ordinance-2019.pdf
What To Do
(Remember to be civil and professional at all times!)
Attend the hearing and contact the Aldermen ASAP! No hearing is yet set so ask your Aldermen when this may be heard. Hearings are held on the second (at 11:00 AM) and fourth (at 6:00 PM) Tuesdays of each month at 115 S. Pearl Street.
Animal owners need to educate city officials and properly inform them about the overreaching and illogical nature of this proposal.
Email list: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Please edit as you feel appropriate. You may also take snippets from our above alert.
As a responsible animal owner, I implore you to reconsider and conduct additional research on your proposed animal ordinance amendments. I can only imagine that this proposal did not receive adequate consideration. For example, 1 in every 20 households in the U.S. has an exotic pet reptile. Exotic reptile pets increase in popularity each year as they are far more suitable pets for many people than dogs and cats might be. They pose no public safety risks and are highly misunderstood by many people. Many small exotic mammals are also regularly kept including hedgehogs and sugar gliders.
Popular reptile pet species which will be banned include Greek tortoises, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, ball pythons, sand boas, and hundreds more. Additionally, amphibian species like red-eyed tree frogs, Pac-Man frogs, axolotl salamanders, and others will be banned. Most of these animals are bred in the U.S. by dedicated keepers.
As proposed, the only species which could be kept are dogs, cats, and pot-bellied pigs. If you are unaware, Mississippi already has state laws covering inherently dangerous animal and exotic livestock so what is the need to ban thousands of additional species?
I am also greatly concerned regarding the new regulations banning all livestock and those affecting dog and cat owners. Please work with local animal owners and stakeholders to become aware of all the unintended consequences of this proposal.
Please refuse the proposal and send it back to the drawing board. Do not make a bad decision for the animals and people of Natchez. Thank you for your time and have a good day.