Har­bour Grace amend­ing farm an­i­mal reg­u­la­tions

An­i­mal own­ers in com­mu­nity may re­ceive gen­eral ap­pli­ca­tion

The Compass - - Classified - BY CHRIS LEWIS [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

Har­bour Grace is con­tin­u­ing to im­prove and make amend­ments to their reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing farm an­i­mals in the com­mu­nity.

Ear­lier in 2018, Har­bour Grace coun­cil sought to track down landown­ers in res­i­den­tial zones who had farm an­i­mals such as horses, cows, or sheep on their prop­erty with­out proper per­mits.

At that time, it was stated any res­i­dents found hold­ing such an­i­mals with­out hav­ing put in an ap­pli­ca­tion would have the an­i­mals re­moved from the prop­erty af­ter a cer­tain date.

More re­cently, let­ters were sent out to cer­tain res­i­dents in­form­ing them of the reg­u­la­tion, and how it would be en­forced, all while ad­vis­ing these res­i­dents to ei­ther ac­quire the per­mits, or re­move the an­i­mals from the prop­er­ties.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing of coun­cil, held on Sept. 24, coun­cil spoke fur­ther on the topic, and Mayor Don Coombs went into fur­ther de­tail on some al­ter­ations that would be made to the reg­u­la­tions.

Coombs ex­plained he had a meet­ing with res­i­dents, many of whom had an­i­mals of their own and were con­cerned about the let­ters in ques­tion, not­ing that some peo­ple had re­ceived them, while oth­ers, who also had such an­i­mals on their prop­erty, did not..

“They came to deal with prop­er­ties that (hosted such an­i­mals) pre­vi­ous to 2010,” Coombs said. “They ad­dressed con­cerns about why cer­tain peo­ple were get­ting let­ters about their an­i­mals, and cer­tain peo­ple were not. These are peo­ple that have had an­i­mals in the town of Har­bour Grace for the last 40 years, some­times more. These peo­ple are farm­ers of an­i­mals, and when it came to fill­ing out the ap­pli­ca­tion, they saw some prob­lems with telling coun­cil how many an­i­mals they had be­cause there could be a calf born tonight and an­other calf sold to­mor­row.”

Coombs went on to ex­plain the peo­ple he had met with felt as though they were be­ing tar­geted by coun­cil with these reg­u­la­tions and how they were be­ing en­forced.

The peo­ple who met with Coombs ul­ti­mately got some lee­way when it came to the rules, which Coombs noted only came into ef­fect in 2010. For an­i­mal farm­ers who have been in op­er­a­tion prior to the reg­u­la­tions be­ing im­ple­mented, much like the farm­ers Coombs spoke of, a gen­eral ap­pli­ca­tion had been put in on their be­half, to see the farm­ers are per­mit­ted to main­tain their an­i­mals with­out is­sue.

“They are not the is­sue that we’ve dealt with,” Coombs said. “They are not a part of that is­sue at all. They sell an­i­mals, they con­tribute to the town, and I think the is­sue sim­ply got out of hand. I’ll be ask­ing that Hous­ing and Zon­ing take a look at that ap­pli­ca­tion. These farm­ers can’t be sign­ing off on ap­pli­ca­tions ev­ery time a calf is born or an an­i­mal is sold – that’s fair, and was never meant to dis­crim­i­nate against these peo­ple. Coun­cil was try­ing to find out who had an­i­mals in this town that haven’t been prop­erly de­liv­ered on, and for those with an­i­mals to let us know, so we can try to reg­u­late that.”

Coun. Kathy Tet­ford, who made the orig­i­nal mo­tion back in May to see the reg­u­la­tions en­forced, also spoke up on the mat­ter, not­ing she felt as though coun­cil was sim­ply do­ing the right thing by tak­ing these reg­u­la­tions se­ri­ously, and never meant to point any fin­gers.

“If there are peo­ple be­ing skipped with the let­ters who have an­i­mals, well, that should never hap­pen, but I’m sure, as in all hu­man na­ture, some­times that stuff hap­pens, but I also don’t think this should all be thrown out be­cause peo­ple were missed. We’ll just need to do a bet­ter job in the fu­ture,” she said.

“I just wanted to state that it had noth­ing to do with tar­get­ing any­one. There are le­git­i­mate farm­ers that have been in this town for a num­ber of years. It sim­ply had to do with us fol­low­ing our reg­u­la­tions. It was noth­ing per­sonal.”

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Coun. Kathy Tet­ford.

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