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Bees Are In, Pot Bellied Pigs Are Out

komodo-dragon-tongue-ltIf you’re clever, you may be able to sneak a dog into High Rise Society. (See, Just Visiting.)  But no matter what the board or the bylaws say, you can’t have a fox or a hyena or a komodo dragon.  Nor a lion or a tiger or a mongoose. Neither tarantula nor cobra nor alligator can call your apartment home (unless they’re seeking temporarily refuge from the sewer). And bears and bobcats and weasels are also verboten, along with a never-ending list of other wild animals that the Law says may not be kept as pets.

You’d think common sense would be enough to dissuade people from harboring animals that can kill them, but it’s not, as you probably know from those crazy stories about police having to rush in with stun guns or ropes or whatever to save the law breaker from his lethal folly. Just last year a guy in an apartment in Queens turned himself in after his pet python escaped, afraid he’d become a victim of his own stupidity, though once the cops had captured the 7-foot serpent that was on the way to 18-feet, he claimed he was just snake-sitting for a friend fighting in Iraq.

 But now you have a chance to have your say.  The Health Department has decided to amend that part of the City’s Health Code that lays out chapter and verse on which animals are legal pets, and which are illegal wild animals, though now it’s not only “wild” but also “other” animals that are prohibited.  As part of the process, hearings will be held on Wednesday, February 3, 2010, which you can attend, or submit written comment

20050426074509bee_swarmProbably the biggest news, at least for those honey-loving apartment dwellers, is that the ban on bees may be lifted (not that I ever knew there was one, opting to get my sweet fix from a jar.)  But just the possibility is creating a buzz among the beekeeping set, who believed their charges were unfairly categorized as wild animals, along with venomous insects like hornets and wasps, when bees hardly bite and have a distinctively sweet humor.

The new provision would allow New Yorkers lucky enough to have roof space to keep hives of non-aggressive honey bees, so long as they don’t get nasty and become a nuisance to nearby residents.  I guess that means I could start a hive on my terrace, though I think it’s unlikely because bees don’t like me.  I have been driven more than once from my outdoors to the indoors by a single bee that seemed to think I was out to interrupt its pollination pleasure, so the thought of hundreds of them is too scary to contemplate.

 pot_bellied_pigWhile bees once out are now in, other animals that were in are now out. So you won’t be able to keep a rooster or a goose in your apartment or a turtle with a carapace of less than four inches – or a pot bellied pig, which might put a crimp in the style of that former Westchester DA, except she doesn’t live in the City so I guess she and her pigs are safe.

As for me – I’m just hoping with their newly elevated status, those bees will take a more passive noblesse oblige attitude toward me.

Have any complaints about your neighbors harboring squirrels or iguanas or monkeys or any other wild animals in their apartment? You can turn them in at Illegal Animal Complaint.

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