Baraga passes new animal ordinance

BARAGA — At its August meeting, the Village Council approved a new animal control ordinance to replace a previous ordinance adopted in 1978. It required all animals, including bees, be kept “confined or enclosed upon or within the premises.”

The replacement ordinance is intended to prevent animal-caused public nuisances.

Violations are punishable by $100 fine.

The ordinance change is written in a single, brief paragraph as part of a replacement ordinance that is just over two pages.

It retains sections that bar the keeping of farm animals, fowl and wild or undomesticated animals from being kept within village limits, with a few particular exceptions.

The jail penalty was also removed, and the flat fee replaced with an escalating fee structure that starts at $75 for the first infraction.

“I don’t see people going to jail for this,” Council President Wendell Dompier said.

Nuisance behaviour for pets is also defined more clearly in the new document, including being let run at large without a leash, attacking other animals or people and odor or noise disturbances. Another section prohibits dogs from certain areas of the village.

“The enforcement of that is going to be lenient,” Village Manager LeAnn LeClaire said.