It’s constitutional to limit residents to four roosters on a property without a permit, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
Monterey County requires a “rooster keeping operation permit” for any property owner who wants to maintain more than four roosters on a single property. Among other things, the county requires that the permit applicant not to have been convicted of criminal cockfighting or animal cruelty. Other requirements include maintaining clean and orderly pens for the roosters. More information about the rooster ordinance can be found here.
Two property owners, Heriberto Perez and Miguel Angel Reyes Robles, challenged the ordinance as unconstitutional and on appeal limited themselves to the argument that the ordinance was unconstitutional on its face. They lost every argument they put forth.
Cockfighting and cruelty to roosters were in the news last year when an animal rights group posted video supposedly outing an unpermitted cockfighting operation in the unincorporated community of Royal Oaks near Elkhorn Slough. The same rooster ordinance was at issue in that case. However, the property owners in that case were different than the property owners in the Royal Oaks case.
The Sixth District make short work of the rooster case, requiring only nine pages to knock down all the constitutional arguments. Among the arguments that the court shot down were the following:
Perez v. County of Monterey, No. H044364 (February 14, 2019)
For property owners: Lynne Marie Patterson, (714) 848-3606
For Monterey County: Michael J. Whilden, Deputy County Counsel, (831) 755-5045