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Board OKs animal control code, with an exception
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to approve the new Animal Control official code of ordinances after weeks of revision. But they still have a little work left to do.

The commission favored suspending a section on hazardous animals until Jan. 1 after a resident spoke up with concerns.

Paul Harney, a Clermont resident, said the section is too broad.

He said many of the snakes listed under the section grow no larger than three feet long and "large reptiles" could encompass many animals that are not harmful.

"Large reptiles? What does that mean? Turtles? How can turtles be considered hazardous animals?" he asked.

He also was concerned that emus and ostriches, which are considered livestock under state law, were listed as hazardous animals in Hall County’s code.

When the ordinance was originally presented, area farmers spoke out against the proposed fencing regulations. Ledford said he has since worked with area farmers to strike a compromise with regulations.

The original intent of the updated code was to help prevent accidents caused by livestock wandering onto the road.

In May, a man was killed after his car struck a horse that walked onto U.S. 129.

Farmers worried that the new fencing code could be costly to comply with and be a burden for farmers.

"I think we have a document that works for all sides now," Ledford said.

Doug Aiken, one of the residents who worked with the county to revise the code, said he thinks it is now better for landowners.

"We tried to be fair to everybody and give (Ledford) the tools he needs to do the job," Aiken said.

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