Family gets deadline for farm animal removal

AP News
Posted: Mar 23, 2013 1:57 PM

WILLIAMSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A mid-Michigan family has less than a week to get rid of goats, chickens, pot belly pigs and rabbits from their property or face a lawsuit.

Jeremiah and Jessica Hudson of Williamston Township near Lansing have until Friday to comply with the order, township attorney Gary Bender told WILX-TV ( ).

The couple and their five children, ages 2 to 11, moved from Lansing last year to keep farm animals. They said they moved because her children have food allergies and they wanted access to goat milk and affordable eggs.

But one of their new neighbors complained. The Williamston Township board voted this month to take legal action to force the removal of the animals from Jessica Hudson's 1.5-acre Sweet Peas Farm. The board cited a local ordinance that prohibits farm animals in an area zoned for single-family homes.

The family moved into the R-1 zone, where animals such as goats and pigs aren't allowed, Bender said.

However, Jessica Hudson said she is not giving up the animals and that the family is protected under the federal Right to Farm Act.

"I guess, I have to take them to court for them to listen," she said of township officials.

News of the battle spread online, where donors have pledged $12,000 to support the family's legal dispute, Jessica Hudson said.


Information from: WILX-TV, or