BACKYARD CHICKEN COOPS IN RUSSELL TOWNSHIP?
Some homeowners in Russell Township want to know if they can keep a few chickens in their backyard so they can have freshlaid eggs at their convenience. The subject of home chicken coops came up during the May 20 township council session after Public Safety and Enforcer Director Millie Bourdeau presented a report on a new animal care and control bylaw for the municipality. Councillor Cindy Saucier noted that she has received several calls from people asking about keeping chickens in their backyards.
“There are people who do have them,” Saucier said during a later interview. She pointed out that they keep a small fenced area for the chickens, so they can have fresh eggs.
Later during the public question period, Embrun resident Charles Armstrong asked why the proposed new bylaw forbids private ownership of certain animals. He added that he understands why the township might not want people keeping some animals that represent a potential risk, like certain species of snake, but he wondered why pigeons and doves might be included.
The proposed bylaw expands on the existing one that focuses on dogs. Director Bourdeau noted that the bylaw is based on the City of Ottawa’s animal control regulations, which has sections dealing with exotic species though she does not believe that doves would be classed as an exotic bird.
The first draft of the proposed new animal control bylaw will be posted on the township website for public comment either through social media, emails and regular letters to the municipal office. Administration will review the comments and make any amendments necessary before bringing the draft bylaw back to council later in the season for second and third reading.