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Ohio Bill Would Allow City Folks To Own Small Livestock

Rick Jackson

There’s a bill in the Ohio legislature that’s meant to help people who live in food deserts - urban areas where they can’t readily access fresh foods. The legislation would allow residents in those areas to raise small animals for food. But some lawmakers think it’s in bad taste.

The bill would trump home rule in local communities by permitting property owners to keep a limited number of chickens, goats or other small animals to feed their families. But Republican Representative Kyle Koehler, who himself lives on a farm, thinks this idea could be a recipe for disaster.

“What are you going to do when the chickens get out? I’ve chased chickens all over my property. Turkeys, goats. Somebody has a goat and they think that goat is just going to stay in a little pen? What happens when it gets out and eats the neighbor’s flowers and I’m telling you, that’s gonna happen.”

Koehler and other lawmakers say cities should have home rule on this matter. The bill’s sponsor, conservative Republican Tom Brinkman, told a committee it’s no different than people having their second amendment rights to carry a gun.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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