Urban Micro-Livestock Ordinances

Zoning Practice — April 2013

By Jaime Bouvier


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While small farm animals never completely disappeared from most cities, a growing number of communities are revisiting their animal control and zoning regulations in response to a renewed interest in chickens, bees, and goats among urban agriculture practitioners and backyard hobbyists.

There is no universal definition of micro-livestock. It often just means small animals — like chickens, ducks, quail, and rabbits. It can also mean breeds that are smaller than average or an animal of what is normally a large breed that just happens to be small. Right now, most attempts to legalize micro-livestock focus on chickens, goats, and bees.

This issue of Zoning Practice provides some insight into community-driven initiatives to sanction farm animals in urban areas and summarizes some common regulatory approaches aimed at ensuring these animals make good neighbors.


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Date Published
April 1, 2013
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Jaime Bouvier