Flagstaff ordinance allows backyard slaughtering

Posted at 12:36 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 14:36:06-05

Flagstaff residents who want to know where their food comes from will be able to find more locally sourced goods, thanks to a new ordinance allowing more backyard animals.

The City Council has approved an ordinance that allows property owners to slaughter animals as long as it is out of sight of the public and humane, The Arizona Daily Sun reported.

The ordinance also expands the list of animals people can keep to include large livestock, such as horses, cattle, pigs and llamas, on estate residential or rural residential lots. Small livestock such as mini goats, rabbits, chickens and bees, are allowed in all residential zones.

The number of animals allowed depends on the size of the lot.

Heather Babbott, who keeps chickens in her backyard and plans to add mini goats and a bee hive now that the rules have changed, said having farm animals at home helps with healthy eating.

"Eating healthy and knowing where our food comes from is important to our family. We run the Flagstaff Community Market and raising our own chickens seemed pretty natural. My daughter and I love animals and thought it would be fun to raise our own chickens," she said.

Elisha Dorfsmith, a member of Flagstaff Liberty Alliance, the group that pushed for the ordinance change along with Councilman Jeff Oravits, said urban farming and raising chickens is fun and educational, not to mention tasty.

"The biggest benefit is the fresh eggs," he said. "They lay about one egg a day, which, with our four chickens, was more than enough for the three of us. We were giving away eggs to our neighbors and friends."