Letters to the editor from June 9, 2021

TANNER MONDOK | Allied News fileDon Huntington holds one of his pet chickens, Flora, at his home in Grove City. He and his wife are trying to get an ordinance changed so they can keep their chickens within the borough limits.

THE READERS’ VOICE

Chickens are public health issue, not just pet issue

Petitions are being circulated in Grove City borough to have Ordinance 151.12 amended to permit the raising of chickens within the borough limits. Per reporting in the Allied News edition of June 2, the petitioners have a “bond” with their seven chickens and “they feel more like pets” to the point where the birds are allowed in the house and held by the family.

Casey Barton Behravesh is a director in Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and authored a March 2018 article entitled “Do Backyard Chickens Pose Any Health Risks to Humans?? She notes that backyard poultry can spread salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis and avian influenza viruses.

Symptoms of the first two listed diseases are diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Infections can spread to the intestines, bloodstream and other body sites which can be life threatening. Infections generally last a week. The avian influenza virus symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue, headaches, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

These facts should be considered if approached to sign a petition to amend 151.12. The current petitioners would guise this proposed amendment as a “pet” issue. It’s far from that. It’s a public health issue. In fact, to the petitioners I would add that the article also lists warnings that poultry should not be allowed to enter homes, separate shoes should be worn in caring for poultry and not brought into the house; food or drink should not be consumed where poultry live or roam, and birds should never be kissed or snuggled.

I will submit the referenced article to the borough council for its consideration and respectfully ask the public to consider all relevant information before signing any petitions to amend Ordinance 151.12.

 

Bob Gropp

Grove City

 

Couple should be allowed to keep feathered friends

Don and Brenda Huntington should be allowed to keep their chickens.

Grove City borough, by the letter of the law, is within its rights to evict the Huntingtons’ feathered friends, albeit due to an archaic ordinance that bans farm animals from residing within the borough limits.

However, I am reminded that when we lived in Grove City a few years back, several businesses erected electronic signs in the borough. This was clearly against an ordinance; however, the borough council at the time did not require those businesses to remove the signs.

One reason for that ordinance is that the signs are a potential distraction to drivers.

The Huntingtons’ chickens, on the other hand, are bothering no one.

The borough should use common sense on this issue and allow the Huntingtons, and any other similarly responsible residents, to own hens as pets.

 

Jason Reeher

Harrisville

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