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Pincher council gives green light to chicken ownership

Friday, 26 August 2022. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Pincher council gives green light to chicken ownership

Pincher council gives green light to chicken ownership
By Sean Oliver
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Pincher Creek residents who are tired of shelling out money for eggs at the grocery store will be happy to hear that amendments to the animal-control bylaw officially legalize chicken ownership within town limits.

Town council approved the changes to Bylaw 1598 at the Aug. 22 regular council meeting.

The bylaw stipulates that a person living in town limits can have chickens at their place of residence, limited to a maximum of four hens per household. Chicken owners must also live at the residence with their flock.

Roosters are not allowed, and chickens remain prohibited in mobile home parks.

The hens must be older than 16 weeks and need a proper coop that complies with the town’s accessory building regulations. Hens must be kept within the coop or a suitable enclosure at all times.

Any products from the hens, such as eggs, meat or manure, are for personal use only and cannot be sold.

Hens must be registered with the town via an urban hen registration form, which requires the owner’s name, civic and legal address, account roll number, a picture indicating the property is properly fenced, and a site plan showing the coop’s dimensions and where it will be located within the property line.

Additional amendments to the animal-control bylaw include requiring an annual registration for guard dogs and dogs considered dangerous, as determined by their history. Proof of insurance must be shown during registration for both dog types.

Dog licences for dangerous dogs have also been set at $500 and guard dogs at $250. A $1,000 ticket will be given to the owners if their animal attacks someone, and a $1,500 penalty is assessed if an animal attacks and injures a person.

Trapping animals within town limits is allowed only on property owned, rented or leased by the person trapping. Traps must also be non-lethal (with the exception of mouse traps) and trapped animals must be kept away from dangerous temperatures. Bylaw and Fish and Wildlife officers are still allowed to trap animals in the course of their duties.

Contravening the animal-control bylaw will result in a first-time fine of $150, $200 for a second offence and $400 for a third.

Owners of dangerous dogs who violate the bylaw will face steeper fees of $250 for a first offence, followed by $500 and $1,000 fines for second and third violations.

With the passing of third reading, the bylaw is now in effect.