Recently, it seems as though we have had a run on 1940s D.C. regulations. In November, I wrote about the city’s 1941 building height restrictions, and yesterday, Ann Hemmens (again) brought me a copy of the 1944 Police Regulations a patron had requested. I perused the index of the latter and found the entry “Sheep: droves of, on streets.” Being a fan of articles written about archaic laws still on the books, I decided to investigate.
Pictured below is what was located on the page listed in the index of the 1944 publication (Article VII).
Back then it may have been a common sight to see “sheep driven or conducted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” but aside from the occasional deer on Connecticut Avenue, in all my years in D.C. I’ve never encountered a “drove of beeves” (a term I had to look up) or other livestock roaming within the city limits.
So are these regulations still in force?
A quick search for D.C. police regulations determined that the last promulgation was in 1981. Wanting something more recent, I went to the D.C. Municipal Regulations online and entered the uninspired search term “sheep.” (And while I know at some point I want to go back to see how the five “definitions” that appeared in the results differ, I only focused on the last item in the list seen here.)
Lo and behold, not only are these regulations still valid, almost verbatim, but they are now re-arranged into thirteen sections from the original eight.
So if you need to get a herd of animals from Takoma to Foggy Bottom, remember:
- Only “drive” during the morning rush (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.);
- Stay 150 yards behind your neighbor’s herd;
- Don’t halter more than 6 animals together; and
- Get a permit.
And please, let me know when and where. I want to be able to say I was there!