Lucky for wannabe urban chicken keepers, the Mankato City Council has decided to give the chicken issue another look in 2010! Good, right? Read on...
Unluckily for wannabe urban chicken keepers, the council is referring to a staff report that contains more hysterical fiction than fact. From Dan Linehan's article in the Free Press:
A staff report on this issue brings up some predictable negatives like smell, proper care and protection from predators.Wait a minute! We've seen these scary (and still unsubstantiated) facts before somewhere, haven't we?
It also says between 20 percent to 50 percent of chicks sold as hens turn out to be roosters.
“These unwanted roosters are often given to animal shelters, released into the streets, and, in a growing number of cases, sold for cockfighting,” the report says.
Companies that sell chicks typically ground up the newborn roosters for feed or fertilizer, according to the report.
Oh yeah, it's the same crap that Animal Sanctuary Coalition who blasted their outlandish Position Statement on Backyard Chickens last December. And it would appear this coalition has managed to brainwash the Mankato staff with a single sensational press release. It smacks of laziness on the city staff's part that they'd take the claims lock, stock and barrel. Yet, the council is able to say (with a straight face) it's "open to revisiting the issue" even though they'd get better inputs from perusing the menu at the local KFC. (or Church's or Popeye's or whatever fries up the chicken parts near you).
I'd love to get my hands on this staff report to see exactly what it claims. But I don't hold out much hope that the Mankato City Council changes their mind if what's described by Linehan in his article is indicative of the kind of preparation they're doing.
Such a shame.
If you could write a press release to help the folks at the pro-chicken Mankato HENS (Hens Enriching Nutrition and Sustainability) what kind of material would you include to counteract the sanctuary coalition's claims?
Photo credit: A.Myers on Flickr
re: getting your hands on the staff report. I am an alderman down here in Stoughton, Wisconsin, but I am sure that your open records laws would allow you to request a copy of that document.
Yes, we are trying agin, but the litany of typical misconceptions still abounds. This year the focus appears to be mostly on declining property values if a few hens are next door. Unfortunately, one councilman is spreading these misconceptions and fears and rallying the opposition using these scare tactics.
We're not a 'play nasty' kind of group, so will do our best to counter these arguments with our education campaign and continue to share with those concerned the realities of a few backyard hens.
Thanks for the continued support!
Egads. There is no debating the extreme animal rights/vegan people. Engaging in dialog just gives them more of a platform. Unfortunately, they are very successful at bringing what seems to be a reasonable debate to the table. Avoid direct confrontation. It just makes their points appear valid. Try to address the situation without going head to head.
BTW, I've had issues with PETA, who is dispersing "kindness to animals" materials to schools. The School LIbrary Journal touted how wonderful this free material was. I pointed out that using it gave credence to an extreme political view. Quite the brouhaha on the website.
The issue will now be brought forth in a public hearing on June 14. It is absolutely, positively doomed without well-planned public education, a massive campaign to contact city council reps (who are in some cases reporting that "100% of their constituents" oppose the plan), and getting the FACTS out there. The opposition is incredibly vocal, unbelievably angry, and worst of all they're being taken seriously by the people who matter -- those who will vote on this ordinance. It won't do any good to be angry in exchange, but it's absolutely critical to make your voices heard.
Here's the latest newspaper article: http://is.gd/c4e7b
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