Washington, DC city law states that “No loose herd or flock shall be driven or conducted in the District, except with a permit issued by the Chief of Police.” (See District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Title 24, Chapter 9, Sec. 906.10.)
Many, many years ago, Washington was a pretty rural place. There were even farms in the Northwest and Southeast quadrants of the city. This was before the automobile, and well before the federal workforce climbed into the millions. But a lot of these old laws are still on the books. Nobody seems to have thought to get rid of them.
Other animal herding laws in DC include:
-No droves of mules or horses larger than six animals are allowed. (906.6)
-However, “Horned cattle may be led singly by a rope or halter through any of the streets in the District.” (906.8). That includes K Street, Constitution Avenue, and every other street in the District, great or small (Note to self: this might be worth trying someday).
-As with cars, the driving age for herds is 16. (906.12)
-A drove of sheep crossing a bridge must have at least six drovers. (906.4)
-It is illegal to “water, feed, or clean any horse, mule, cow, or other animal” within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. The same rule apples to cars.(906.13)
(Hat tip: Marc Scribner)