Save the Goats
Four years ago I got interested in sustainable living after I watched a movie called Food Inc. and learned about the damage caused by factory farms and about some of the chemicals that are being put into our food every day. Being a teacher I am always interested in learning new things and thought it might be interesting to challenge myself to see what I could produce in my own backyard here in the county. I started with a few raised bed gardens, which quickly turned to fruit bushes, then fruit trees, then a few hens, and now mini goats.
I bought Dixie and Gilbert, my two mini Nubian goats, three months ago after much research and preparation. I had to make sure I had enough room, that my fence was strong enough, and that I would be able to create adequate housing for them. After checking with my neighbors and getting the go ahead I purchased these little guys and have been bottle feeding them for the past three months. Recently, a code officer came to my door to inform me that it was against county code to have goats and chickens in a residential area. The penalty for convicted violation of this code is a $500 fine and up to six years of imprisonment.
Backyard goats and chickens (with some limitations) are legal in the following cities: St. Louis, Oakland, Portland, Cleveland, Forth Worth, Berkeley, St. Paul, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, and Pasadena. If they are legal in these cities then why not in Belleville, IL? Please sign this petition to demand that the St. Clair County Board make mini goats and chickens legal in residential areas in St. Clair County.