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Backyard chicken bylaw still to be determined in Halton Hills

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Backyard chicken bylaw still to be determined in Halton Hills

The Town of Halton Hills is seeking feedback from residents on whether they would advocate for the possibility of keeping backyard chickens in urban areas.

The Town of Halton Hills Responsible Pet Owner’s By-law 94-077 currently restricts chickens only to properties that are zoned as agricultural.

The bylaw, if changed, could allow backyard chickens in Acton and Georgetown among other areas.

“Right now, the bylaw states that only properties deemed agricultural may keep backyard chickens,” said Mayor Rick Bonnette.

“We understand that there is some interest in this issue so I hope no one chickens out from offering an opinion.”

While some municipalities have chosen not to permit chickens in urban residential areas, others have permitted different restrictions and have only permitted hen keeping.

There were a total of 700 participants in the first survey, which took place from March 2020 to April 2021 and helped to determine whether residents had an interest in keeping backyard chickens in urban residential areas.

“I am concerned about where my food comes from. I care about well-being of chickens and would like to have backyard chickens,” said one participant, whose name has been redacted.

“I think this is disgusting and a health hazard and if I live in a residential zone, I should not have to deal with the sound, smell and mess of farm animals in my subdivision,” said another participant.

The Town is currently conducting another survey to gather additional feedback on the proposed regulations and staff is anticipated to bring forward a report to council this month with the results.

Additional consultation and public education will follow should they proceed with permitting backyard chickens in urban areas.

Additionally, the Town will be hosting a Backyard Chickens Proposed Regulations Public Open House on June 7, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. To register, click here.

For more information and to complete the survey, click here.

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