Discussion about allowing urban hens in Grande Prairie was back on the table at a City Committee meeting Tuesday.
There was talk about making changes to the Animals and Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw to allow not only dogs and cats, but livestock as well.
Grande Prairie Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel will be making guidelines to present to council outlining what rules would be in place for keeping livestock in urban regions.
“We are looking at a permitting process that may, on a case-by-case decision, allow that to happen. And what that would involve is drafting guidelines that identify what the specific requirements would be to achieve approval. One of the key ones there would be neighbour notification,” says Manuel. ” Some of them being a single-family home, certain set backs from fences, adjacent yards, specifications around shelters, provisions saying no roosters, the age of the hens you can maintain, sanitary requirements.”
One of the biggest concerns around having urban hens is noise control.
Manual says there are some people who already have backyard hens, but it isn’t currently permitted.
“Right now, we’re not naive to think that some of these people don’t do these activities and we expect that there is backyard chickens in Grande Prairie. We’ve heard such, but it’s not something, you know, we don’t go looking in people’s backyards specifically looking for things that aren’t compliant or unlicensed. We do it on a complaint basis, so if we’re receiving complaints, that’s when it usually comes to our attention.”
He says the guidelines should be delivered to the City by July.