Committee recommends amending ordinance to allow snakes

Certain types of snakes would be allowed as pets in Minot under an ordinance change proposed by a city committee.

The Animal Ordinance Committee voted 5-1 Wednesday to recommend the city council lift the ban on all but venomous and injurious snakes identified by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as well as rattlesnakes, boa constrictors and pit vipers. Other snake breeds would be allowed.

Committee member Richard Sabol voted against the recommendation, and resident Merle Baisch also argued against the change.

“We don’t need snakes in town. If you want a snake, move out of town,” Baisch said. “We have a minority of people who want to have snakes. … Now you are letting the minority take over what’s supposed to be majority rule.”

“I don’t feel like just because I am a minority that I shouldn’t be allowed to keep a pet that would mean no danger, no nuisance, no threat of a disease,” said committee member Marshal Platz, who advocated for the ordinance change.