Bakersfield’s Ozzy Osbourne Ordinance


November 26, 2007

Tonight’s visit by Ozzy Osbourne isn’t his first stop in Bakersfield, and there’s an emergency ordinance still on the books to prove it.

In June, 1982, when the so-called “Prince of Darkness” was at the height of his popularity, his reputation preceded him to Kern County.

At the June 9 City Council meeting, Mayor Mary Kay Shell, ”advised the Council a musical rock star scheduled to perform in Bakersfield in June sometimes makes it a practice to bite the head off a bird during or at the conclusion of his performance,” according to 25-year-old city council minutes still maintained by City Clerk Pamela A. McCarthy.

The mayor stated that according to the City Attorney, “there is currently no law prohibiting this practice, therefore she would like to ask the

Council to consider adoption of an Emergency Ordinance prohibiting this action,” the minutes say.

The council immediately and unanimously voted an emergency city law prohibiting killing animals during theatrical performances — the Ozzy Osbourne

Ordinance, as it was called at the time.

The ordinance says, ”No person shall knowingly, nor shall any device, machine or contrivance be used to, maim, injure or kill any animal, including fowl, during any live theatrical or musical performance in the city. (Ord. 2749 – 1 (part), 1982)”

It’s still on the books.

Courtesy of