(BIVN) – Hawaii Island rooster advocates enjoyed a victory on March 13 when council Bill 112 died in the Planning Committee.
The bill, introduced by Puna councilwoman Eileen O’Hara, would have restricted “rooster farms” in agricultural-zoned neighborhoods.
The bill intended to curb noise and cockfighting, according to the language:
SECTION 1. Findings and purpose. The council finds that rooster farms have become established in many communities in Hawai`i County. Unlike chicken farms, that produce eggs, hide, feathers, or meat, most rooster farms exist for the sole purpose of breeding and raising roosters for cock-fighting- an activity that is illegal in all fifty states. Because raising roosters is a noisy and smelly endeavor, rooster farms can have a detrimental effect on the occupants and land values of surrounding properties. Accordingly, the purpose of this ordinance is to alleviate the nuisance, and resultant reduction in property value, caused by rooster farms by identifying where and under what conditions they are allowed in Hawai`i County.
The bill defined a “Rooster farm” as “any parcel of land or facility where more than four roosters are tethered, caged, or otherwise maintained.” It also mandated that any “house, teepee, run, hutch, or other enclosure for the keeping or exercising of any rooster” must be located “at least seventy-five feet from any lot line.”
However, Bill 112 also threatened the way of life for many island residents. Opponents of the bill packed the Hilo County building in large numbers Tuesday to speak out on the proposal. They flooded the council chamber with testimony.
Although there were a few testifiers who supported the bill, the majority of speakers spoke against it.
After a hours of public testimony, councilwoman O’Hara was unable to get a second on a motion to send the bill to the planning commission, as required, effectively killing the measure in committee.