St. Louis alderwomen introduce ‘chicken raising’ bill to help urban agriculture

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Alderwoman Cara Spencer is the proud owner of a few feathery pets.

“Chickens are no different than any other pet,” said Spencer.

Spencer wants others to think about raising some of their own; if not for themselves then for their neighbors.

Alderwoman Spencer and Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia introduced Board Bill 52 Friday. It allows a person to have up to eight chickens or rabbits instead of four; in addition, a memorandum policy allowing the direct sale of eggs, honey, or produce on site.

“We have neighborhoods that don't have access to healthy food options. We have a lot of vacant land,” Spencer said. “What we're trying to do is encourage residents to take up a garden in their own backyard, grow their own food.”

“This is one part of what will be necessary to ensure our city’s sustainability and our residents’ access to healthy foods on a long term basis,” said Alderwoman Ingrassia.

The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition supports the bill. According to the coalition, more than 25 percent of city residents are food insecure, meaning they face uncertain access to nutritious food and an even higher percentage don't have access to nearby grocery stores.