On Tuesday night, the chicken law passed in the Common Council by the skin of its teeth--if chickens had teeth. A simple majority requires 1,011 aye votes. The chicken law got 1,020 ayes and 1008 nays. Common Council president Don Moore and aldermen John Friedman (Third Ward), Nick Haddad (First Ward), David Marston (First Ward), Abdus Miah (Second Ward), Sheila Ramsey (Fourth Ward), and Chris Wagoner (Third Ward) voted in favor of permitting backyard chickens; aldermen Robert Donahue (Fifth Ward), Wanda Pertilla (Second Ward), Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward), and Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward) voted against it.
Before casting his nay vote, Donahue said he didn't want chickens for neighbors and his constituents in the Fifth Ward didn't want the stench of chicken poop. Friedman, next in the roll call, said he represented the Third Ward where they wanted "all that stuff."
In the discussion that preceded the vote, Miah spoke of Islamic slaughtering methods, saying that Muslims now have to go to New York City to get chickens that have been slaughtered in the appropriate way. Haddad said that the law provided for egg laying not slaughtering, but Friedman, who crafted the law, maintained that people could raise chickens and kill them for personal use.
Paragraph 70-17.C of the chicken law, however, states: "Chickens shall be kept as pets and for personal use only; no person shall sell eggs or meat or engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes. The slaughtering of chickens is prohibited."
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