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Augusta Co. Says 'No' to Residential Chickens

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Augusta County Board of Supervisors has voted against backyard hens for people who live in residential neighborhoods.

More than a dozen people spoke in favor of backyard hens at Wednesday night's board of supervisors meeting, while one person spoke against it. Those supporting the ordinance say they should have the right to grow their own food.

Farmer and author Joel Salatin says the industry won and farmers lost.

“What happened tonight is a special protectionism to the industry that the citizen then has to be dependent on the industry and can't extricate ourselves in liberty to be self-reliant,” Salatin said. “I would suggest that people do it anyway. They're not going to take us all to jail. I would encourage civil disobedience. I think it worked well for Henry David Thoreau and I think we're in a day where we need to practice some civil disobedience.”

The board voted 5-2 against the ordinance.

Some of the supervisors that opposed allowing backyard hens said they couldn't endorse anything that threatened the poultry industry. Also mentioned was the additional cost to enforce the ordinance.

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