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State bill would allow more Arizonans to own, raise chickens at their homes

PHOENIX -- If some state politicians get their way, you could end up seeing a wider variety of animals in your neighborhood.

If approved, Senate Bill 1151 would prevent cities and counties from banning backyard fowl.

Right now, some Valley communities limit the number of chickens homeowners can have on their property, while others prohibit urban chickens altogether.

Last summer, Chandler councilmembers voted against allowing chickens in backyards. Opponents said they worried about avian flu, the smell and noises.

Supporters point to the health benefits of fresh eggs and say properly maintained coops create no strong odors. They also say dogs are often much nosier than chickens.

While allowing all homeowners to have chickens, SB 1151 would still permit cities and counties to limit the number thereof and to ban roosters that make noise.

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