On Monday, June 20, 2016 at the Peterborough City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting, a Staff Report was brought forward regarding a Comprehensive Animal Control By-law (with Appendices A, B and C). Article 12 of the proposed by-law states:
Article 12 – Chickens
Presently the keeping of chickens is permitted in agricultural zoned areas of the City and in residential zones areas, with a restriction that coops must be a certain distance from premises where food is prepared. In discussion with the PHS and Peterborough Public Health, issues relating to disease, noise and nuisance have arose and therefore it is recommended moving forward, that chickens only be kept in agricultural zones. For those individuals who presently keep chickens in residential areas they will be limited to keeping no more than 6 chickens and on the sixth anniversary of the passing of the bylaw no person shall be permitted to keep a grandfathered chicken in a residential zone.
An amendment was proposed at the Committee of the Whole meeting to remove Article 12 but the motion was defeated by Council.
The proposed by-law is on the next City Council Meeting Agenda. The meeting will start at 6 pm and has has been moved to Market Hall, 140 Charlotte Street, Peterborough. At this time there are a number of delegations that have registered to speak on aspects of the proposed by-law. There has certainly been great interest from local residents and the media on the topic.
One of the registered speakers will be Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Office of Health, Peterborough Public Health and chair of the Peterborough Food Action Network along with Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs, Peterborough Public Health. Dr. Salvaterra will not be speaking in favour of or against the by-law but will present evidence based on the benefits and risks of keeping urban hens. Potential ways to reduce these risks from a public health standpoint will also be outlined.
Dr. Salvaterra’s slides will be available here next week.
Everyone is welcome to attend City Council meetings or they can watch on-line by using this link: http://www.peterborough.ca/City_Hall/City_Council_2833/Watch_Council.htm.