Fortunately, despite a smorgasbord of potential distractions, District residents have nothing to fear; Bowser remains laser-focused on the issues most important to her constituents: backyard chickens.
Last week, Bowser proposed legislation that would amend the District’s animal-control laws to ban the practice of keeping backyard chickens. The legislation comes in the wake of the District’s devastating loss last year in a lawsuit brought by two District residents seeking to preserve their right to keep their poultry pals.
As a result of the lawsuit, District officials are hoping the new law will “clarify that chickens and hens have been prohibited for the past 30 years,” according to Department of Health spokeswoman Jasmine Gossett. Local chicken sympathizers called the District’s position “mockable” and concluded the District “wouldn’t have to change the law if they were right.”
Granted, the idea of a powerful mayor using taxpayer dollars to hunt down stowaway backyard chickens may seem hilarious. But chickens shouldn’t be underestimated, and although the mayor has provided no concrete reasons for her chicken ban, I’ve identified several.
Most important, chickens are proven agents of death. According to nationwide statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, one person died from Salmonella infection linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks, making chickens deadlier than Syrian refugees. As if that weren’t scary enough, Salmonella is virtually impossible to avoid; contracting it can be as easy as rubbing your face and open mouth all over a live chicken or never washing your hands.
If Salmonella fails to do the job, chickens have been known to resort to a terrifying berserker-like form of martial arts to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans. Using their razor-sharp talons, chickens target their victims’ shins, often leaving behind small scratches that sting a little in a hot shower. Just ask this woman, who managed to capture on camera her harrowing brush with death.
Of course, chicken sympathizers can say that “not all” chickens are vicious killers. Lenna Warner, who forced backyard chickens on her sister-in-law, described the sister-in-law’s flock as “stately creatures with lush, colorful plumage” that are “friendly, even affectionate.”
But make no mistake: Even docile chickens threaten our way of life. By granting backyard chickens safe haven, District residents are opening the door to a band fowl miscreants that care nothing about D.C. values or its rich history. As someone who has seen and consumed several chickens in his life, I know not to fall for their blank stares and nonsensical clucking.
In reality, they’re always plotting. They’re plotting to take other farm animals’ jobs. They’re plotting to fill our communities with avian gangs and flood our streets with chicken drugs.
Sure, the idea of a renewable source of fresh, organic, protein-packed eggs, or a bountiful supply of nutrient-rich gardening fertilizer seems like a good idea. And it may seem like D.C.’s existing regulations on backyard chickens — which require that all chicken coops be kept at least 50 feet away from any building used for human habitation and the consent of all affected neighbors — are sufficient. But Mayor Bowser has seen through the charade and drawn a hard line in the sand.
Only a jerk would mock her for that.