Minot city council lifts ban on certain species of snakes, keeps ban on backyard hens and BSL

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MINOT N.D. - The Minot City Council ruled on several controversial animal ordinances during a lengthy special meeting Wednesday night.

After discussion with residents, city leaders voted to keep breed-specific language, or B-S-L, on the books as law.

The council also voted to allow ownership of non-venomous and non-injurious snakes.

The council elected to not allow the ownership of backyard hens for the second time in as many years.

Meanwhile, the council chose to research a 'safe hunting' program for those who wish to hunt within the Minot city limits.

The debate over breed-specific language was a point of contention for many Minot residents, from pit bull owners to those who cited concerns about public safety.

The council voted to keep breed specific legislation, or BSL, in place tonight.

BSL prohibits keeping dogs of specific breeds, which in most cases are pit bulls. Council members said they are going with the majority of residents who have emailed about public safety and others.

“At the end of the day, it’s tough for me to tell the needs of the many that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many,” said Alderman Shaun Sipma.

The final vote was one to six, with alderman Shannon Straight the lone "yes" vote.

Certain species of snakes will now be allowed within Minot city limits.

The council voted to allow non-venomous and non-injurious snakes as defined by the US Fish and wildlife service. The ordinance would also ban boa constrictors as well.

“I’m not much of a fan of snakes in home environments and as pets. In the natural world they play a very important role, so on this one I’m inclined to take the libertarian stance and say ‘hey, if it doesn’t harm anybody else I’m ok with it’ I’m not a fan, but I’m ok with it,'” said Alderman Stephan Podrygula.

The council voted four to three with Mayor Barney, Alderman Sipma and Mark Jantzer being the "no" votes.