County Studies Tightening Rooster Ordinance

Are some rooster owners using exemptions to the County’s current rooster ordinance for illegitimate purposes?

That question led the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to take another look at the ordinance for recommendations on how to close any loopholes.

The ordinance was approved in Aug., 2011 and restricted the number of roosters individuals could have on a property. The idea was to prevent illegal cockfighting or the raising of such birds for cockfighting in the unincorporated area. However, an exemption was made for approved 4H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) projects so that legitimate poultry education programs would not be affected.

Now there are concerns that some individuals are getting around the ordinance by claiming to be 4H and FFA members so they can keep large numbers of roosters but not necessarily for legitimate purposes.

“While we’ve cracked down on cockfighting and related abuses, it is apparent there is more work to be done,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “It appears some people are claiming ties to 4H or Future Farmers of America membership as a cover to continue raising roosters for cockfighting.”

Jacob made suggestions on possible changes:

  • Requiring those with exemptions to provide current written proof of membership 
  • Requiring 4H or FFA to confirm membership and provide details on the projects including the reason for keeping roosters
  • Requiring onsite inspection by the County Department of Animal Services for initial and continued eligibility for exemption
  • Modifying the exemption so there’s a limit on the number of roosters

The Supervisors voted to direct the Chief Administrative Officer to work with 4H, FFA and the County’s 4H advisor to put restrictions on the exemption and return to the Board with recommendations within 120 days.   



Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact