The poultry industry in Iowa has been through the wringer this year.

Iowa is currently dealing with its second outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, this year. The disease first popped up in Iowa again back in March and then after a summer hiatus again in October. Since October there have been over 2 million domestic birds in Iowa affected by the disease.

Map of Avian Influenza cases in the United States;
Map of Avian Influenza cases in the United States;

As the Iowa poultry industry started to see another uptick in cases this fall, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship canceled live bird exhibits until 30 days pass without a new case of the disease.

And on top of the restrictions placed with bird flu, backyard chickens in an Iowa city are now under attack.

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Residents of Ogden have been given six months to get rid of their poultry.

According to reports, under Ogden city’s code, livestock is not allowed within city limits. However, the code doesn’t specify the definition of livestock. The debate comes as state code includes poultry in the definition of livestock but federally, domestic fowl, or chickens, are its own category.

Photo by Will H McMahan on Unsplash
Photo by Will H McMahan on Unsplash

The notice was handed out to residents back in October. Kari Sanculi, an Ogden resident that raises chickens, started a petition to reverse this notice. Sanculi collected over 300 signatures that she then presented to the city council. However, during the council’s November meeting, they voted to not make any changes to the rule.

Following that vote, Sanculi told We Are Iowa;

"They said, 'We know that Ogden has had chickens forever. We don't care, but it's against city code.' And I heard that over and over and over again. To me, what does that say? Maybe it's time for some change,"

The six months ultimatum was set following the November city council meeting.

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