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Status quo maintained for backyard chickens in Wellington North

by Olivia Rutt

KENILWORTH - Wellington North council has decided against allowing backyard chickens after receiving a request from a resident.

Dale Martin wrote to council after finding out the backyard chickens his family was keeping were not allowed in urban areas.

Martin’s letter, which was discussed by council on Dec. 4, states the chickens are “pets” and a learning experience for his children.

“All is going well [until] a phone call from a Wellington North employee threatens to ruin the whole experience,” he wrote.

Martin said he was shocked to find out backyard chickens were not allowed according to Wellington North’s zoning bylaw, which states the keeping of livestock is not permitted in residential zones.

“My pet chickens were no more livestock than that dog barking outside the window,” wrote Martin.

“We need council to set a real bylaw, making a decision for all as to whether they are allowed or not - and stick to it.”

Lennox said he received the correspondence and wanted council’s opinion.

“I don’t think I support any kind of change in our policy in that regard, but I thought all of you should be aware and have an opportunity to weigh in,” Lennox said.

Councillors Lisa Hern and Steve McCabe said they have received this type of request in the past.

McCabe said chickens can attract rodents and foxes into urban areas.

“It seems great at the time and as an agricultural-based municipality, people are like, ‘Why aren’t you for this?’

“Hopefully they see that it’s a public safety - well, somewhat public safety - (concern),” he  said.

Hern said she too wants to keep the status quo.

“There is a bigger picture, and for me that’s food protection, bio security and all that kind of stuff,” she said.

Council received the correspondence as information. Councillor Sherry Burke was absent.


December 8, 2017


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