House joins Deal in protecting local control of raising chickens

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Indiana House members have joined State Rep. Ross Deal (D-Mishawaka) today in protecting the rights of local units of government to determine what is best for their communities, including when it comes to raising chickens.

Representatives supported Deal in removing language from Senate Bill 529 that would have prevented local units from adopting ordinances, rules or regulations prohibiting someone from raising chickens on personal property. Removal of the language keeps the decisions of whether or not residents can raise chickens in the backyards of their homes with the local officials who govern those communities.

“The original version of this bill concerned local ordinances covering beekeeping, and was amended in committee to include raising chickens,” Deal said. “I have nothing against raising bees or chickens. I do have a problem with efforts by state government to tell local units of government how to run their operations.

“South Bend and Mishawaka are adjoining communities,” he continued. “South Bend allows backyard chickens, while Mishawaka does not. Each community is unique, and the people who are best able to determine how to handle the regulation of chickens are the elected officials in those communities, not legislators at the Statehouse. If we had not taken out this language, we would be removing more local control from locally elected officials.

“I will continue to protect the rights of local officials to determine how to best govern their communities,” Deal concluded.

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