Are rabbits pets or livestock? That is the question the town of Lisbon, Connecticut must decide. If they’re pets, then 14-year-old Eva Benjamin will be able to keep the 30 rabbits she is raising in the back yard of their home that sits on a 1.7 acre lot. If they’re livestock, then bunnies will only be permitted to be kept on farms that are 5 acres or larger.
The issue came to light after the Benjamin’s neighbor, John Gwiazdowski, who is also a town Selectman, lodged a complaint.
Here is more on the story as reported by Alison Shea in the Norwich Bulletin:
The board is determining whether rabbits are farm animals or domestic pets, for which there is no minimum acreage. This is the first rabbit complaint the town has had, Planning and Zoning Commissioner John Dempsey told the board last week.
“We are trying to keep Lisbon a country town. It’s not Norwich or the center of Jewett City. People want to have goats, chickens and rabbits,” Dempsey said.
Town Planner Jamie Rabbitt said limiting the number and type of animals permitted would help Zoning Enforcement Officer Carl Brown, but Brown and commission members said they were concerned about limiting those with larger properties.
“It’s not the guy getting complaints who’s got 50 acres and 10 cats. It’s the guy with half an acre and 10 cats,” Brown said.
Gwiazdowski said he’s not against his neighbors raising animals, but said the 5-acre minimum farm size is a good way to protect neighbors from the sounds and smells that come with farming.
Whether rabbits are livestock or pets is the same issue being debated in North Haven, Conn., and it is likely to arise in more and more places as rabbits become more popular. Although Hoppington Post does not approve of breeding rabbits in one’s back yard, if it should be decided that rabbits are not livestock, then rabbitats of spayed and neutered rescued rabbits could legally be established.
To read the complete article, please visit: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x912153107/Lisbon-faces-rabbit-quandary#axzz23izrSOJO
Photo by Orin Zebest