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Richmond City Council Not One to Chicken Out

The Richmond City Council unanimously rejected a staff recommendation to ban live chicken sales in the renewal of a lease with the Richmond Certified Farmers Market Association.


With the sky over the Richmond Farmers Market poised to fall, Chicken Little (Ooops, I mean City staff) recommended to “prohibit this practice based on health concerns, complaints, and anticipated proposed changes to the Richmond Municipal Code regarding chickens. Neighboring businesses complained about the smell presumably coming from the sun-baked chicken excrement piling up on plastic tarps after dropping from the chicken cages. The Richmond Municipal Code outlaws the maintenance of property that causes odors that are offensive to the senses and detrimental to the enjoyment of nearby properties.”


It seems that some unnamed parties were offended by the selling of live chickens at the farmer’s market. Everyone knows that chickens come from the grocery store all neatly plucked, cleaned, chopped and more likely than not -- frozen. Or from McDonald’s as Chicken McNuggets. To remind people that chickens are actually live animals with feathers, clucks and poop is simply more than some can bear. It’s also a health issue. Clearly, chickens that have been processed in a modern industrial slaughterhouse, sprayed with chemicals to kill any e-coli, trucked across the country in USDA approved transportation before sitting in a clean and well lit grocery store cooler or freezer for several days are cleaner, fresher and more nutritious than a live chicken raised on a family-run farm, sold in a parking lot and killed, plucked and gutted at home by some amateur.


No one showed up to complain about live chicken sales, but several people stayed until after midnight to make impassioned pleas for the City Council to allow live chicken sales.


The City Council, fully united, did not chicken out on this one.


For a video, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzNvmz84occ.