St. Landry

Apr 10, 2012 11:33 PM by Shawn Kline

Opelousas eyeing restrictions for livestock owners

Opelousas could be putting an end to horse riding in the city. The council is proposing a new ordinance that would restrict ownership of all livestock in city limits after a number of complaints about horses roaming the streets.

"The horses are going into people's yards," Joe Citizen said. "(They're) relieving themselves and eating flowers."

If you ask Citizen, it's becoming a big problem.

"One horse had to be euthanized," Police Chief Perry Gallow said. "One horse was just recently ridden to exhaustion."

Both Chief Gallow and Citizen are telling council something needs to be done.

"Horses, at large, running up and down the street at all time of night," Citizen recalls.

In Chief Gallow's office, police respond to more than 100-complaints about livestock every year in the City of Opelousas alone. Many of those cases end up at St. Landry Parish Animal Control.

"It's just reached the point where we have to do something before someone seriously gets injured," Chief Gallow said.

Here's some of the details in the proposed ordinance:

1) Owners would be required to get a permit for their livestock; including horses, pigs, sheep and other animals from the City of Opelousas.

2) If the ordinance passes, it will also be illegal to ride any animal on city streets unless it's a special event.

3) As for Evangeline Downs, the track is considered a special event.

However, if you plan on keeping livestock as a backyard pet, it might not fly as easily as it does now.

"It's a nuisance!" Citizen said.

The specifics of the ordinance are still being worked out and a vote to approve it could come next month.

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