Organizers of Saturday's Urban Farm Tour may cancel a public chicken slaughter after a complaint to Carrboro Town Hall.
The annual tour shows examples of small-scale sustainable
agriculture at about a dozen sites in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Planned workshops included honey harvesting, lasagna bed preparation and a slaughter of chickens for a community “stone soup” at the end of the event.
But news that chickens would be killed at this year’s event upset resident Gina Burns. She wrote to town officials saying the chicken killing was inappropriate for a private lot and could lead to slaughter of other animals kept for food.
The e-mail touched off a flurry of messages between the town’s
elected officials, police chief and town attorney. Calls to Town Hall were referred to Police Chief Carolyn Hutchison, who said neither the town nor the health department had authority to
act on the killing of chickens on private property.
‘It certainly seems that it is entirely legal from a local and
state perspective,” she said Thursday.
But Sammy Slade of Carrboro Greenspace, the group
organizing the tour, said the dust-up shows the group may need to do more education before inviting the public to watch chickens being slaughtered, even if that is part of what it takes to produce locally food.
“I have to run it by the collective,” said Slade, who is running
for Carrboro alderman. “It may make sense to put it off for another year without the trauma that might come about by killing a chicken before we know how to process the idea.”