Q. I’ve keep ducks for years and now the city wants them to be removed. Please help, I don’t want to lose my ducks. Do you have any suggestions?
A. It was upsetting to read of the troubles you are experiencing with the city
regarding your ducks. I know how much a part of the family they can become.
Here are a few suggestions that some of us could come up with at this point in time:
First, contact any and all media in your area – TV,regional and local newspapers, etc, etc. Tell them your story. Get the media to report YOUR story. Media can be
powerful tools in any fight. That is the first step I would recommend. I know one woman who is currently winning a fight against her city to keep her pet ducks
because of the media’s interest.
If there is no ordinance specifically against ducks on the City’s books, take a look at your county’s ordinance and see if there is one and if it says it’s ok to keep
ducks. For instance, it’s illegal to have bees here but the City told us how to do it legally–have the County agricultural department come out and legally certify the
hive through an inspection (for disease in this case). Maybe that would work for your ducks?
However, they did warn us if there was a complaint about bee hives, they would have to take action and get rid of them. So in everything, we’ve learned to be discreet and
try to keep everyone pleased by making our chicken and duck coops visually pleasing, etc, etc..
Also, collect petitions and letters of support from your neighbors (the ones that don’t mind your ducks!).
If the City refuses to even consider an amendment (by voting democratically to change it) then I would suggest threatening to inform the ACLU (don’t actually know their
jurisdiction but you can try to contact them and maybe a threat is all it will take).
Try contacting any local livestock groups in your area. Like for instance, there is a LA county domesticated birds club that supports duck raising, etc.
If possible, contact a lawyer as soon as you can. In the meantime, DOCUMENT everything – phone calls, letters, conversations — EVERYTHING that has to do with any contact with the city! Document who you talked to, when, and where… keep a diary of sorts. We learned this invaluable lesson in our dealings with the city as they
often tried to “double-talk” around us. In our case, pictures proved to be priceless.
I don’t know about your financial situation and I truly hope you don’t end up going this route, but sometimes this may end up in court. Documentation will prove to be
valuable as well as studying up on the laws and ordinances ourselves. Don’t ever take their word for anything. Do your own research.
And don’t stop at the city laws, check county and state laws. You may find something.
Please keep me informed on the progress. I’d like to know how it all works out. My family wishes you the best of luck.
I hope I’ve provided some hope for you in your fight.