Residents of Burlington, Vermont, now have even more local food options. Burlington City Council passed two new livestock ordinances. The ordinances regulate the humane treatment and slaughter of chickens, rabbits, goats and sheep within the city limits. Folks in Burlington can now raise their own local meats and know the livestock are humanely treated. Burlington is one of only three cities in the nation with urban livestock regulations. The other two are Chicago and Seattle. Conservation Law Foundation worked closely with the Burlington Food Council’s Urban Agriculture Task Force in recommending a cohesive urban agriculture policy to the Burlington City Council and then developing thoughtful urban agriculture regulations. The language of the final ordinance largely reflects the language CLF drafted with the Urban Livestock Working Group.
The ordinances give residents of Burlington greater control over what they are consuming. Burlington residents now have a viable alternative to purchasing meat products produced at environmentally hazardous large-scale confined animal feed operations. Access to healthy foods such as the products and meat produced from chickens, rabbits, goats and sheep also lends itself to greater food security and independence. By developing these thoughtful ordinances allowing not just the keeping and slaughter of animals, but also ensuring that the process is humane and healthy for all involved, Burlington is leading the nation in urban agriculture.