NORTH PORT — Not allowing backyard chickens as pets in residential neighborhoods because they attract rats, coyotes and stray dogs, as well as the risk of salmonella poisoning, is an old, tired argument, says a leader of an advocacy group.
“It’s unfair to say backyard chickens shouldn’t be allowed because of salmonella,” said Jono Miller, co-founder of Citizens Lobbying for Urban Chicken Keeping, or CLUCK, of Sarasota. “The Centers for Disease Control says turtles, snakes, frogs, guinea pigs, dogs, birds, horses and cats all can carry salmonella. So why are chickens singled out? People are more at risk for salmonella if they have a pet turtle and don’t change the water too often and don’t wash their hands after handling it than people who have chickens in their yard and take care of them every day.”
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