Citizens petition to allow chickens in Cherokee Village

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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CHEROKEE VILLAGE, Ark. (KAIT) - A Northeast Arkansas community is asking its leaders to allow chickens inside the city limits.

Citizens in Cherokee Village have started a petition, earning close to 1,000 signatures.

Owning chickens, or any farm animal, within city limits of Cherokee Village is against the law, breaking City Ordinance 1999-4, Section 9.

The community is now asking Mayor Russ Stokes and the city council to change the ordinance to allow five hens and no roosters.

The proposed ordinance goes as far as saying chicken housing must be 25 feet away from the nearest neighbor’s residence, requiring the owner to obtain a permit from the city. It also prohibits the outside slaughtering of birds.

The initiative was organized by Kurt and Tammy Schlaich, who have a medical reason for wanting the chickens.

Tammy suffers from Alpha-Gal, which when bit, causes a person to become ill when exposed to red meats and dairy, forcing them to rely on chicken, fish, and other food products that do not contain Alpha-Gal.

She said she believes the syndrome is growing in the state.

“More and more people I talk to either have Alpha-Gal, are going to get tested for Alpha-Gal, or know someone who has Alpha-Gal,” Tammy said.

Tammy’s husband, Kurt, said he taught Government for years. He explained while health is the main reason he is fighting for the chickens, he also believes it’s a freedom he should be allowed to have.

“I like to go by the constitution of the United States where it says for the health and welfare of all people,” he said. “That really is part of the constitution of the US, and when the mayor and these council members take their oath, they’re to defend what the constitution says.”

The Schlaichs said the city council has discussed the chicken debate, but they have yet to make a decision on the proposal.

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