Family Fights To Keep Farm Animals

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

The battle between the Hudson family and Williamstown Township has been going on since November. A cease-and-desist letter from the township's attorneys, Wednesday, brought it to a new level.

"We had to come into compliance with the zoning ordinance, which essentially means we have to get rid of our animals, or they will file suit in court," said Jessica Hudson.

It started when the Hudson's bought their home, last August.

Jessica Hudson says she was given the 'OK' by the township to raise farm animals on the property to sell products and help manage the severe food allergies of her five children.

"They're allergic to dairy, so cow's milk, soy, corn...," said Hudson.

Three months later, Hudson found out the animals were in violation of a zoning ordinance. The township said no one at its office ever gave the 'OK' for the animals.

Last week, when the board voted to take the family to court, Hudson took the story to her farm's Facebook page and website.

"It just went crazy," she said. "People started picking it up and flooding every social media network."

The result was several letters and $15,000 in donations for legal defense. Hudson says, the law is on her side.

"As long as you're selling something on your farm, then you're protected by the Right to Farm Act," she said.

Township attorney Gary Bender told News 10, Friday, the family isn't protected because they moved into the R-1 zone, where animals like goats and pigs aren't allowed. Then, they built their farm. If they had built the farm and the land was re-zoned to R-1, the story would be different.

Now, the Hudson family has until Friday, March 29 to comply or Bender says, he will file suit immediately.

Hudson says she doesn't plan on giving up her animals.

"I guess, I have to take them to court for them to listen."


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