Lay Off the Hens! Support Backyard Chickens in D.C.
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D.C. residents have kept chickens in the District since it was founded. And today in the District, chickens are legal, albeit regulated. We want to keep it that way. Chickens are amusing, docile, safe, easy to keep, and are interesting pets. They produce fresh eggs. Our children love them.
We want D.C. to be one of the growing numbers of cities like New York, Seattle, Miami, Anchorage, Atlanta, Portland, Denver, and Cleveland that support chicken ownership as an eco-friendly and fun hobby. There is a national movement to re-introduce chickens in cities, as part of the movement away from industrial food and towards sustainable living. In fact, Austin, Texas actively supports chicken ownership with a stipend because chickens reduce landfill burdens by consuming and composting kitchen scraps.
But here in D.C. today, the city council is considering changes to the existing law that would create an outright ban on keeping chickens within city limits. This new language was included in the Mayor's proposed budget by the Department of Health and is an attempt to change the law in an underhanded way.
If the District wants to change the regulations on backyard chickens, it should do so using customary democratic processes, including notice and comment and the chance for citizens to meaningfully participate in the process.
Please add your name and tell the City Council to strike the language related to chickens from the Mayor's proposed budget, and ask them to take the time to learn more from D.C. citizens who currently keep chickens, or are interested in doing so.
Help us raise the profile of this issue with our elected officials and bring D.C. back to the forefront of the sustainability and local food movements.
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