In New Milford, there’s no noise ordinance for cows. And there’s certainly no smell ordinance. In that once-rural Connecticut town, farmers are protected, as the New York Times reports, by a new type of legislation that’s increasingly popular in urbanizing areas: the right-to-farm law.
Farmers in New Milford call their new ordinance “a pre-emptive strike” against neighbors from more urban areas who might decide that roosters are only charming in children’s books. The area’s already populated by professionals who work in coastal cities like Stamford and New Haven. To protect the town’s farming character, the municipal government has formed a farm preservation commission, which drafted the ordinance.
Potential nuisance complaints are a worry for many farming communities; earlier this year, NPR’s All Things Considered aired an excellent story on a small town in Nevada that had grappled with just this issue. The problem? A braying donkey.