The Laramie City Council voted unanimously during its July 2 meeting to amend a proposed ordinance upon its second reading to allow for no more than three baby goats, sheep or pigs on a quarter acre of land.
The ordinance change comes from city staff wanting to close a loophole in the current ordinance that would allow anyone — no matter their property size — to have an unlimited number of livestock animals younger than 7 months.
Pearce, who voiced concerns during the first reading of the ordinance change, brought forward an amendment during the July 2 meeting, creating a new definition for a unit of livestock: “No more than a total of three … piglets, goats or sheep each under 7 months of age and unaccompanied by its mother.”
“You couldn’t have a mom with four kids and three others; it would just be three others up to 7 months old,” she said during the meeting.
Not everyone was thrilled by the amendment, however. Although he ultimately voted in approval, Councilman Bryan Shuster expressed his concern during the time for Council comment that people will buy the baby livestock animals as pets, only to have to make a tough choice a few months later.
“I have this issue with this — I’m sorry — that if I have a goat and a pig that I consider pets after they reach 7 months old, you have to make a determination of who has to go,” Shuster said.
When asked by Councilwoman Jessica Stalder what he thought of the amendment, city Community Service Officer Gene Lang said he was concerned about the piglets because “a 7-month-old pig is past butcher weight and very large.”
“We’re lucky in Laramie, throughout town — north, south, east and west — people have that quarter acre-plus available to them to be able to fit into this livestock ordinance,” Lang added. “So, that’s where we try to find that middle ground where we can still be good neighbors, but we can still carry that agricultural heritage.”
He also noted how lucky Laramie is to have livestock allowances in the first place, noting the city is one of the few that allows “both chickens and livestock to be allowed within city limits.”
“I’ve talked to many council members from other jurisdictions in the state that are even just trying to get chickens allowed,” Lang said during the meeting. “What’s kept, I think, most people content is that space requirement, that not anybody can have a cow in their yard.”
Pearce clarified part of the reason she wanted provisions for additional young animals is because goats and sheep are herd animals and “just to be by themselves would be a problem.” She added she also had 4-H projects and other educational opportunities in mind when considering the amendment.
The ordinance change has to pass a third reading before becoming a part of city code.