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Some State Lawmakers See Farmyard Animals As A Means Of Combating Food Deserts

May 13, 2017

Credit Ohio Public Radio

Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill designed to help people living in urban areas who cannot readily access fresh foods.

The legislation requires those residents to raise small animals for food. But some lawmakers think it's in bad taste. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles explains.

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.