This story is the first of two about backyard chickens in Philadelphia and the effort to legalize them. It’s done in partnership with Philadelphia Neighborhoods and NewsWorks. Read part two here.
In 2004, City Council met to discuss a bill proposed by Councilman Brian O’Neill, R-10th.
The bill — written with help from the Health Department and the Law Department — amended Title 10 of the Philadelphia Code, which addresses ownership of poultry and livestock within city limits. The bill sought to make it illegal to own farm animals — “any chicken, goose, duck, turkey, goat, sheep, pig or cow” — on fewer than three acres of land.
Paragraph 6 of the Title 10 Amendment reads:
“No person shall cause or permit more than 5 expressions of sound from one or more animals (such as individual barks from one or more dogs) during a five minute period from any property audible at a distance greater than 50 feet from the property boundary. This shall not apply to zoos, veterinary hospitals or clinics, animal shelters, a circus or other licensed entertainment venue, or a facility used for educational or scientific purposes, such as schools and laboratories.”