CHICAGO (CBS) — It may not be common knowledge, but it is legal to keep farm animals in the city of Chicago.
But the death of a horse this weekend in a backyard in Englewood is renewing a push for stricter laws.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves found there are people against sudden changes.
Leonard and his ladies call one city backyard home. Julia Magnus with the Chicago Roo Crew wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Having animals in conditions like this, as companions, as friends, we get to evolve our understanding of what companions animals can be,” Magnus said.
But this freedom could be threatened, after a new push for regulations on farm animals and livestock living in Chicago.
Chicago Animal Care and Control now say they found no evidence of mistreatment. But last year, the department gave six citations, including failure to have a license and vaccine records.
The owner complied.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) was quick to call this incident neglect and abuse, spurred on by means of unorthodox city living.
“It’s leading to the situations like in my ward where we had over 100 chickens in a garage used for cockfighting. And more and more of these animals are not being cared for properly,” Lopez said.
Now, proposed legislation is being backed by multiple aldermen. It’s a law that requires a $25 permit and mandates an animal limit for livestock owners.
There’s also a ban on roosters.
When the changes were proposed last fall, Magnus said neither she nor any other groups really had the chance to sit down and discuss this with the alderman.
“Since then, we haven’t, any of us, been contacted,” Magnus said.
Other urban farming groups who said they do this responsibly said the restrictions could impact their livelihoods. While Magnus said she just wants to keep her companion.
It is legal to keep a horse in the city as long as it’s licensed and properly cared for. The horse owner in this case was cited for not having vaccine records for the horse that is still alive.