Committee to review ordinance that bans chickens within Terre Haute city limits

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A committee is set to review a Terre Haute ordinance that does not allow raising chickens within city limits.

Matthew Graham has raised chickens at his Terre Haute home for two years, he says mostly without any problem.

He says that changed after he received a knock on his door a few days ago.

“I went to check what is was and we had a code enforcement officer who informed me at the time that it’s not within city code to have chickens,” Graham said.

Graham says he was told by code enforcement that he had ten days to find some place else to take his chickens.

In May of this year, changes to the Terre Haute animal ordinance were made unanimously by City Council but that did not include allowing chickens to be raised in the city.

“We did approve some changes to that ordinance, specifically with regards to keeping bees in the city, and that time there were questions about also keeping chickens in the city,” said Martha Crossen, Terre Haute City Council president.

After hearing those questions, Crossen says a committee made up of council members, animal control, agriculture professionals, and those who raise chickens has been formed to look deeper into the ordinance.

“It’s a broad-based group and hopefully we can come up with something that everybody can live with,” Crossen said.

Graham says he hopes that a solution can be found because he believes keeping the animals doesn’t harm other members of the public.

“Their our pets and they give us eggs and we should be able to make our own food as long as we aren’t infringing on anyone else’s safety, security, or sanitation, and we’re not,” Graham said.

The committee that will review the animal control ordinance will meet October 21st at 4:30 at City Hall.

Crossen says members of the public are invited to share their thoughts.

Cities such as Indianapolis and Bloomington do allow chickens within city limits.

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