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Guide to raising bees and livestock animals in Portland

Guide
Portland residents are allowed to keep bees and livestock in their backyards. Rules governing the quantity, maintenance and location of animals help keep them safe and reduce impacts on neighboring properties.
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Keeping livestock in Portland

In exchange for fresh eggs, honey and milk, caring for bees and livestock such as chickens and miniature goats can be rewarding and relatively easy, but they do require planning, commitment and daily care. 

Permits are not required to keep bees or livestock, but regulations must be followed. The City strongly encourages interested parties to review the best practices and the Title 13 code thoroughly. They were written to help animal owners meet code expectations so that code violations are lessoned. 

Animal-related nuisances, such as odors, noise, and vectors are not allowed, so taking care to read and understand the regulations prior to investing in livestock is encouraged.

Best practices

The pages in this guide provide an introduction to the rules, regulations, and recommendations to help you properly prepare and care for bees and livestock animals on your property:

Filing a complaint

Complaints or potential code violations are managed by Multnomah County Vector Control and Code Enforcement.

When Multnomah County Vector Control and Code Enforcement receives a Title 13 complaint the following actions are taken:

  • Contacting the complainant by phone or email to get more information (may not be necessary in all cases).
  • Sending a written advisory notice to the address where the code violation is occurring with corrective actions that can be taken to address it.
  • Contacting the responsible party by phone to discuss the violation(s) and establishing a timeframe in which corrective actions must be completed.
  • Performing an in-person inspection of the location where the violation has occurred in order to discuss corrective actions or ensure that the violation has been addressed.

County staff make every effort to correct code violations with the above actions. If a violation is corrected within the given timeframe, the case is closed, and no further action is taken. However, if the responsible parties are unresponsive or uncooperative, fines may be assessed to the responsible party.

Background on the Title 13 code

Title 13, which regulates the keeping of urban bees and livestock, has existed in some form since the 1960s. Title 13 creates rules for keeping bees and livestock that reflect the circumstances of our growing city. Most Portlanders live in urban neighborhoods where outdoor areas for keeping livestock is limited, and these animals can have negative impacts on many neighboring properties.

A hearing before City Council took place in July 2020. The final adopted code replaced the previous version of Title 13 per Council Ordinance No. 190086, effective September 4, 2020. At this time the permit process was replaced with standards and best practices.

An administrative rules hearing took place in April 2021. In July 2021, code enforcement became the responsibility of the Multnomah County Vector Control and Code Enforcement department. 

For more information

Contact

Multnomah County Vector Control and Code Enforcement

Complaints or potential code violations