Amherst woman appealing town’s order to get rid of goats, chickens, rabbits

Deadline to get rid of animals was last month

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – An Amherst resident has been ordered by the town to get rid of her livestock after receiving complaints from neighbors about the smell.

Michelle Chandler’s deadline to get rid of more than 70 goats, chickens, and rabbits passed last month. She’s now challenging the town’s decision and more than $800 in fines.

Neighbors have complained several times about the odor coming from Chandler’s property at 326 West Pomeroy Lane.

She told 22News officials have told her to remove the manure from the property to compost it, something this disabled veteran said she is unable to do.

Last month, The Amherst Health Department issued a “cease-and-desist” order, and imposed fines that accrue each day.

Chandler continues to keep her animals.

“I’m single parent with four teenagers,” Chandler said. “We eat a lot of meat. And I simply don’t have the means to buy that all organic. I believe strongly in local agriculture.”

Amherst adopted its “Right to Farm” bylaw in April 2008.

Chandler told 22News she starting keeping livestock before the bylaw was enacted.

The Board of Health is meeting Thursday night at the Bangs Community Center, where Chandler and her lawyer plan to appeal the order and the fines.