Seriously, we as a community of backyard enthusiasts need to band together to ensure that our rights under the MRTFA act become known and more importantly are observed.
I am sick of reading the horror stories about people all over Michigan being told they have to give up their birds. Especially about those who FALL UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE LAW, and yet local officials either strong arm or intimidate them these folks into capitulation.
I think we need an organized movement to ensure that
1) all of the small, backyard folks know the law, its current status, and what needs to be done to qualify as a protected farm operation under the law;
2) work to ensure that no changes are made to the law which would take away the protections currently granted to us by the legislature and the courts;
3) serve as a clearinghouse of information and support for those who are being unfairly targeted by local officials who do not understand the law or choose to ignore it;
4) create a trade/sales network between like minded folks to help us all "sell" our products and thereby help to confirm our status as "commercial";
I'm trying to piece together a plan of my own SHOULD the knock come on the door from the code enforcement people or police one day. Forewarned is forearmed. However, even at that, I know that I am "nervous" about my birds, I am concerned that my current rights as granted by the legislature and courts will not be observed without a lengthy, draining, and expensive fight. Or that I would be targeted for harassment by local officials with "an ax to grind" should I speak up for my rights.
If anyone else is interested in working with me on such a program, please let me know, either here or with a PM.
One of the first things I would like to work on is some kind of a "MRTFA For Dummies" kind of document that could serve as a "how to kit" for all of us backyard peeps -- how to keep a backyard flock and satisfy the MRTFA requirements so that your operation is legally protected.
Please, even if you're not interested in any way in contributing to such a project, please give me your input about my ideas, or just share your stories, good or bad, about any run-ins with local govt you may have had.
I am just sick at the way this country is going, and I am sick of the fact that something so fundamental as keeping birds for food and fun is deemed "wrong" in this society, when in reality, its a vital life skill that I think is going to become more and more important in the future as our world runs out of resources.
Edited by Denninmi - 8/1/11 at 12:01am