Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pinellas Says Yes to Backyard Poultry

The County Commission of the most densely-populated county in the state okayed backyard chickens last night. Commissioners who govern the unincorporated portions of the County voted 5-2 to allow backyard chickens after a 18 month campaign spearheaded by Lisa McBride, founder of Pinellas Citizens for Backyard Poultry, and many 4-H supporters. The change affects approximately 280,000 people who do not live in one of the two dozen municipalities in Pinellas County. This covers a little more than one third of the land area of the county. Chickens are already allowed in five of the 24 cities (Belleair, Dunedin, Gulfport, Largo and St. Petersburg).

An Email from McBride contained the following paragraph:

Congratulations and thanks to my 4-H members  and cooperating 4-H members from other clubs (and their supportive and driving parents) who wrote letters, got petitions signed, met with commissioners, went to public meetings, provided testimony, monitored our facebook and worked on the website for the past 18 months. It was a long process and two of our hens died of old age in the process, but I can’t think of a better outcome to a leadership project.  This success truly does show the “Power of Youth”.

Regional chicken advocacy now shifts to neighboring Hillsborough County (which has an online petition) and Manatee County where staff is working on wording. Manatee CLUCK can be reached at their Facebook Group

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