Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cecil County Couple Challenges Zoning Law for Pet Goat

An interesting article was published in The Baltimore Sun this morning regarding a goat turned pet in Cecil County, MD. The Balunsat couple purchased Snowbird for several hundred dollars through a newspaper advertisement and have raised her alongside several other animals since she was just a kid.

Snowbird, who lives in a home with less land than zoning laws require for animal husbandry, was not the original complaint. A rooster was - and the family already got rid of it (seemingly without objections). Neither the law or the family involved are concerned with whether or not the goat (or chickens, dogs, etc) qualify or act as working animals - or about the natural needs/purposes of/for the animal in question. 

The idea of farm animals in urban areas has been a hot topic lately as many urban and suburban neighborhoods are circulating petitions to allow residents to keep chickens for the purpose of fresh laid eggs. University of Maryland Extension sheep and goat expert, Susan Schoenian, points out the separation human beings have had from farm animals and processes and that there is a growing movement back towards that connection. 

But this particular case does not appear to be affiliated with the growing "backyard farmer" movement - which begs the question: What is it that draws human beings to animals? Is it for food? Survival? Companionship? Or a need to nurture? 

To keep up with Snowbird's story,
'like' her Facebook page.

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