(NaturalNews) An ongoing debate over the rights of homeowners to raise and keep their own chickens may soon gain an audience in the Virgina Supreme Court. Attorneys at the Rutherford Institute have filed a Petition for Appeal on behalf of Virginia Beach resident Tracy Gugal-Okroy, who faces criminal charges related to zoning ordinance violations for keeping chickens in her backyard. The organization, a nationally active group which is dedicated to upholding constitutional and property rights, is urging the court to protect local residents against what it referred to in a statement posted online as “onerous regulations that render otherwise law-abiding individuals as criminals simply for attempting to grow or raise their own food in a sustainable manner.”
Gugal-Okroy’s friendly flock has grown to 22 since 2011, when she purchased her first dozen baby chicks from a local farm. Each one is a family pet, she says, and her family has named them all. In addition to the enjoyment of their beloved companionship, Gugal-Okroy’s family has come to reap additional benefits from looking after the chickens — namely, the continual production of fresh, organic eggs, a steady supply of sustainable garden compost and fertilizer the chicken’s manure provides, and even natural pest elimination as the chickens feed on mosquitoes and other bugs. The chickens are quiet and well-protected from predators, keeping either to their coop or fenced-in quarters. And all are there with blessings from Gugal-Okroy’s neighbors, with whom she had consulted beforehand.
Categories: Police State/Civil Liberties