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Virginia Beach poultry prosecution questioned

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) — Civil liberties attorneys are defending a Virginia Beach woman who was told by city officials she could not raise chickens on her property.

The Rutherford Institute says it is challenging in state Supreme Court a city inspector’s conclusion that Tracy Gugal-Okroy violated a zoning ordinance by having chickens on her suburban property. She describes the birds as pets and a source for organic eggs.

Rutherford lawyers say she appealed the city’s decision and ultimately was cited and faces a possible fine. The Circuit Court sided with the city, concluding the chickens were being kept in violation of the zoning ordinance.

The Rutherford Institute says Gugal-Okroy should not be treated as a criminal simply because she keeps chickens.

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