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Austin City Council votes to table issue of possession of chickens within the city limits until next year

The Austin City Council was looking for citizen input at a work session following their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening after recently receiving a petition from Austin resident Sherry Scheid to allow a few hens on her property.  The council discussed Scheid’s petition during their June 1st work session, but decided to table the request for one month to gather more information after the council was split on the issue.  Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm spoke with KAUS during the “Meet the Mayor” segment of “Wright Here, Right Now” and stated that after considerable discussion, the council moved on a vote of 5-2 to table the issue until next year…

Under the current city ordinance, it is unlawful for any person to own, keep, possess, harbor or offer for sale any non-domestic or farm animals within the city limits.  Under the proposal, roosters would not be allowed, and Schied cited in the petition that having hens, particularly with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, would allow for some food independence and certain benefits, such as fresh eggs, the ability to teach children about where their food comes from, and organic weed and bug control.  Scheid also cited companionship as another reason to allow people to own hens within city limits.  The council voted 5-2 to table the issue until next year, with councilmembers Steve King, Paul Fischer, Joyce Poshusta, Rebecca Waller and Jeff Austin voting in favor of tabling the issue, and councilmembers Laura Helle and Jason Baskin voting against the motion.  

The next meeting of the Austin City Council will be held on Monday, July 20th at 5:30 p.m.

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