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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
AP Welker with one of his ducks, who all have names and "love to be held".
# Red Tape
This war veteran was charged for keeping 14 ducks that helped his PTSD
The ducks were part of Darin Welker’s treatment for PTSD.

“THE ORDINANCE SAYS there are no ducks, then there are no ducks.”

That was the simple argument used by prosecutors in a county court in Ohio this week before a war veteran was found guilty of keeping farm animals illegally.

Darin Welker was fined $50 for violating an ordinance by keeping 14 ducks at his home in Coshocton.

Local media report that the ducks were helping the 36-year-old veteran cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

He had developed the problems after serving in Iraq in 2005.

His wife told the Coshocton Tribune that they “boost his spirits” and that he is happier and “laughs easier”.

He has also taken less medication and needs fewer visits to his psychiatrist since he began raising them as ducklings.

But Welker is left with little options now after the court ruled against him.

Laws in Coshocton state that no farm animals (which includes ducks) can be kept within the village limits. The prosecutor in court yesterday also noted that no federal law can override this village ordinance.

“Your hands are tied,” he told the judge, despite the fact that the ducks are registered as emotional support animals on a national level and that no neighbours have complained.

The judge ruled that the laws about farm animals “make sense” and that Welker should pay the fine and court costs.

Eight of the ducks have already been given away but his plans for the remaining birds are unclear.

Contains reporting by AP 

Read more at the Coshocton Tribune

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