Clarification - The CURRENT Oakland Municipal Code

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Saturday, October 22, 2011 10:43 AM

To those who are opposed to allowing residents to raise livestock in Oakland, let me remind you that this practice IS CURRENTLY LEGAL under the existing Oakland Municipal Code of Ordinances. The current process of re-writing the Municipal Code is to regulate this practice in order to insure the proper care and treatment of livestock AND to insure that this practice doesn't adversely affect other residents. That’s right. Those of us who are raising livestock want MORE regulation, not less.

To quote one person who has commented about this on my blog:

"I seriously doubt that this plan will be voted on by the Oakland City Council.
Enough said."
If this revision to the existing code never makes it to the Oakland City Council, then everything will remain status quo and people can continue to raise livestock without any real oversight.

Since I raise goats, I thought it might be helpful for those who don’t bother to do the research if I highlighted the current regulations in place. Goats are mentioned in five sections of the current Oakland Municipal Code as detailed below.


8.16.010 – Definitions
  • “Dairy” means any place where one or more cows or goats are kept, a part or all of the milk or milk products of which are produced for distribution.
NOTE:  This chapter concerns the SALE of dairy products which is strictly controlled by the USDA and the FDA.  Again - FOR SALE. This is not a regulation against raising/milking for one's own consumption. No one is proposing that we want to start a USDA approved dairy in our backyards.

2) Title 8 HEALTH AND SAFETY – Chapter 8.14 MEAT

NOTE:   This chapter concerns the SALE of meat products which is strictly controlled by the USDA and the FDA.  Again - FOR SALE. This is not a regulation against raising/processing for one's own consumption. No one is proposing that we want to start a USDA/FDA approved slaughter house in our backyards.


6.04.02 – Definitions
  • Defines a goat as an “Animal”.
  • Defines “Animal quarters” as the premises and all buildings, hutches, pens, coops, yards, and their appurtenances used for the keeping of animals…
6.04.290 – Keeping certain animals in apartment house, hotel and business districts.
  •  It is unlawful for any person to raise, or keep, live chickens, ducks, geese or other fowl, or pigeons, rabbits, guinea pigs or goats, in an enclosure or yard on property occupied by an apartment house or hotel in a business district in the city, except when such fowl or animals are kept within a bona fide produce market, commission house or store for the purposes of trade and, while so kept, are confined in small coops, boxes or cages.
4) Chapter 15.08 OAKLAND BUILDING MAINTENANCE CODE – Article V Habitable Space

15.08.230 – Sanitation
Q. Vector control
  • Openings and Penetrations. Residential and non-residential buildings or structures used for the following activities or occupancies shall be constructed and maintained impervious to the ingress of insects, rodents, and other vector.
    • c. Raising or housing chickens, birds, poultry, horses, cows, sheep, goats, swine, or other fowl, animals, or domestic pets.
  • Foundations and foundation wills shall extend for the full perimeter of building or structure and shall be constructed of concrete or masonry.
5) Chapter 12.64 PARK AND RECREATION AREA USE REGULATIONS – Article I. Generally

12.64.05 – Animals

  • No person shall lead any horse in the limits of any public park in the city or permit any horse that is not harnessed and attached to a vehicle or mounted by an equestrian, to enter the same, and no person shall turn loose into said parks any dogs, cattle, swine, goats or other animals, or permit the same to run at large in such parks, and police officers and park employees are given authority to capture and destroy any cats found running at large within said parks.