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Keeping rabbits in Portland

Information
Requirements, standards, setbacks and other considerations for keeping rabbits in Portland.
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Rules, permits and complaints

  • Up to four (4) rabbits may be kept on any lot.
  • Up to six (6) rabbits may be kept on lots 10,000 square feet and greater.
  • These numbers do not include rabbits under 12 weeks of age that are the offspring of a resident female rabbit. 
  • There is no maximum number on lots 20,000 square feet or greater that allow agricultural uses through Title 33: Zoning, or that have an approved conditional use.
  • Permits are not required, but you must comply with all Title 13 code standards and best practices.

View the general rules, allowances, permits and complaint information about keeping bees and livestock in Portland.

Where rabbits are allowed

Rabbits raised for personal pets, meat or fur are allowed on all lots in Portland, if Title 13 standards are met. If rabbits are being bred for pets and are being bought, sold, or bartered then Multnomah County Animal Services standards must be met along with Title 13 standards. If a rabbit rescue operation is being conducted, then the State of Oregon Agricultural rules apply in addition to Title 13 standards.

Ground cover

Facility has a ground cover that is absorbent and is replaced as often as necessary to prevent odor and vector breeding (this does not apply to caged environments).

Secure enclosure

Animals are not allowed to roam off the animal owner’s property. The animal facility must prevent animals from roaming-at-large.

Setbacks

  • Structures in a livestock facility must be located at least 3 feet from side and rear property lines and at least 10 feet from the front property line.
Diagram illustrating setback requirements

Vector control

Feeding and watering practices must not attract vectors. Animal feed and any supplement used to support animal health must be stored in a sealed container that is not penetrable by rodents or other animals.

Development standards

Structures must comply with all building and zoning requirements that may apply.

Sites with more than one residential unit

The following standards apply on lots with more than one residential unit:

  • Animal facilities must be at least 15 feet from the walls of all residential units, dedicated outdoor private spaces and any outdoor spaces used for activities such as but not limited to seating, playgrounds and recreational fields.
  • The required minimum area dedicated for the animals must be met.
  • The animals cannot be outside of enclosed livestock facility.
  • The livestock keeper should notify adjacent neighbors in writing to provide information including animal type, number of animals and contact information.

Well-being of the animal

The health or well-being of the animals will not be in any way endangered by the manner of keeping or confinement. This includes enough food, water, attend to special needs such as hoof care for goats and sheep, and skilled care for sick animals.

Condition of animal structures

The structures housing the animals are in good repair, adequately ventilated, capable of being maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, free of vermin, obnoxious smells, and accumulated waste.

Best practices for rabbits

  • Rabbits are social animals and owners are encouraged to have more than one rabbit.
  • Recommendations on the size and configuration of the hutch range from one and half feet for breeds weighing less than five pounds to five square feet for breeds weighing over twelve pounds. Food, water dishes and play apparatus are not included in determining square footage totals.
  • Feeders and water bottles (or water nipples attached to an automatic or semi-automatic water delivery system), that attach to the wire of the cage front are recommended for their efficiency and the fact that they free up floor space.
  • Minimum height of hutch is fourteen inches. 
  • Rabbits in production as meat should be separated and breeding should prevent harm to the doe from numerous litters in a short period of time.
  • Rabbits should always have access to hay.

Guidelines on slaughtering

  • Meat is for personal consumption and may not be sold, unless raised as an agricultural use (on land zoned for agricultural uses).
  • Slaughtering should be done out of the public review, view from neighboring properties, and the view of other rabbits.

Helpful links

American Rabbit Breeders Association

American Rabbit Breeders Association frequently asked questions