EASTHAM — Residents who attended a hearing Tuesday night on proposed regulations for noncommercial farm animals expressed concerns that the rules go too far and that the people who drafted them don’t know enough about the subject.
The eight-page draft lays out definitions, permit and application requirements, lot sizes, setbacks, animal shelter guidelines and animal care plans. There are even penalties for violations.
“We’re looking for input and will accept written comments and questions,” Board of Health Chairwoman Joanna Buffington told those watching via Zoom videoconference.
The regulations are specifically for animals such as alpacas, chickens, cows, ducks, emus, geese, goats, horses, llamas, ostriches, rabbits, sheep, swine and turkeys.
They do not apply to pets.
Dog owners must abide by their own set of rules, including annual registration fees. And any owner with more than three dogs must apply for a kennel permit.
There are no rules governing cats, although some towns on the Cape have instituted regulations because of hoarding situations.
Because the draft rules cover a range of species, and because the animals differ greatly in their need for food, space, shelter and management, there was a lot of ground to cover.
But the need for regulations is clear, according to resident Stephen Wasby. He was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals when an applicant sought a permit for a horse shelter.
“We found ourselves dealing with matters related to horses and we had no regulations,” he said. That incident prompted town officials to establish a task force to come up