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Councillors not ruffling feathers over urban chickens

UXBRIDGE: In an effort to keep anyone’s feathers from being ruffled, councillors are seeking public input regarding a possible move to allow chickens to be kept in Uxbridge’s urban area.

The matter was brought up at a recent council meeting, a report from Kristina Bergeron, Manager of By-law Services provided an update on the matter, which had been requested at a meeting in May.

In the report, it was noted that there are currently no municipalities in Durham Region that allow urban chickens. However, with the recent growth of the local food movement, there are several communities in Ontario that do allow chickens to be kept in residential areas, including: Brampton, Caledon, Guelph, Newmarket, Kingston and Toronto. Each of these municipalities set out specific regulations that address the concerns that come along with the permissions.

Ward 1 Councillor Pam Beach noted that there have been issues in rural areas of the township, which would need to be addressed prior to changing the current by-law.

“I know of one place where they keep chickens and they frequent other people’s yards and there is a rooster,” explained Coun. Beach. “The rooster is a problem, let alone the chickens going all over other people’s property.”

Mayor Dave Barton added that proper planning will be necessary to avoid potential issues like those described by Councillor Beach.

“I think we need to have some rules and if we’re going to do this we need to figure that out first,” the mayor added.

Councillors voted to approve the report’s recommendation that staff create a survey to gauge the feelings of the public. The survey is expected to be available soon through the township’s website.

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