Michigan is considering a farm animals ban. Residents who keep just one critter which the state deems a “farm animal” could face still penalties. Opponents to the potential law widely consider the move an infringement on property rights. The Michigan Right to Farm Act currently allows residents who live in areas zoned either commercial or residential to own agricultural animals.
If the Michigan Agricultural Commission approves changes to the Right to Farm Act mandates, the animal ban could quickly go into effect. The Generally Acceptable Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPS) proposal would essentially terminate rights of property owners to use their land as they see fit.
State Small Farm Council representative Randy Buchler had this to say about the Michigan farm animals ban:
“It would exclude a whole bunch of people who are seeking Right to Farm protection and strip the small farmers of their right to be protected by state law. What they are trying to do is to take away Right to Farm protection from people trying to be self-sufficient but not able to do agriculture on any level according their local zoning.”
If passed, the Generally Acceptable Agricultural and Management Practices would allow local governments to prevent residents from keeping chickens, or even one cow or pig on their. The pending regulatory changed accomplishes this task by labeling specific types of property in subdivisions as “small homesteads” and therefore unacceptable for livestock.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development staffer Brad Deacon stated that small farms in the state are protected in the same manner as any other size farm. The protection offered to small or backyard farmers has reportedly upset some residents who do not the notion of having livestock in rural areas. There is perhaps a growing disconnect relating to how food goes from farm to table in America. The preservation of rural farmland is integral to the preservation of our food supply.
A growing number of Americans, even those with small yards, are opting to grow and raise their own food as both a cost saving and healthy living measure. Organic produce and naturally raise livestock allows folks to know with absolute certainty that they are not ingesting or feeding their families GMO crops or livestock which has been injected with antibiotics and growth hormones.
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund maintains that the Michigan Right to Farm Act offers the strongest possible legal protections for the right of an individual to grow and raise food in the entire country. According to the organization, changes to the current law places the rights of both suburban and urban farms in jeopardy.
[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]