A new pet bylaw given second reading at the March 6 Town Council meeting could see chickens come home to roost. 

Tom Thomson, the Fire Chief and general manager of protective services for the Town, presented council with the proposed bylaw saying that the current Animal Control Bylaw was ten years old and didn’t fit the needs of the community.

One of the more significant changes to the new bylaw allows residents to have up to three hens in their yard.

Thomson says administration launched a survey for residents to get their feedback on the bylaw and what changes they would like to see. He says the information they gathered was helpful in providing a bylaw that worked well for residents.

While residents will be allowed to have hens, they will be required to obtain and maintain premises identification program number from the government. They will also be required to have a chicken coop that is built to the specifications of the bylaw.

Chicken owners will also have to ensure they follow biosecurity procedures recommended by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, keep the eggs for themselves, and they cannot slaughter the chicken in the municipality.

Residents are also no longer required to register their pets with the Town. In the previous bylaw, owners had to register every pet they owned with the Town for identification purposes if the animal was at large. Thomson says administration is already busy with many different tasks for the community, and keeping a list of registered animals is somewhat redundant.

“Most responsible pet owners already tattoo or microchip their pets,” says Thomson.

The bylaw also allows for an increase in the number of dogs each residence can own. The previous bylaw only allowed two dogs, but the new bylaw will allow three.

Thomson says pet owners who currently have more than three dogs can apply for a grandfathered harbouring permit before July 31, 2024. 

“If people want to own more than [three dogs] they can apply for a permit through the Town and a decision can be made whether it’s approved or not,” says Thomson.

Other changes include mandatory reporting of serious incidents or attacks regardless of whether charges are being laid, require owners to notify the Town if their animal has been deemed dangerous in another municipality, increasing fine amounts, and reducing the amount of time pets will remain impounded from five days to 72 hours.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 14, 2024 at 09:36

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

Comments are Welcome - Use the 'Join the Discussion' above any replies, or 'TheRegional / Chat' below replies. Both links take you to the same place. You will be asked to become a registered user if you are not one already - Posts are moderated