Bye-bye to backyard hens

A tie-vote at Penticton city council on Tuesday killed the backyard hen program.

Tie-vote kills chicken program

Penticton city council canceled its order for a backyard chicken program.

The pilot project will not continue because council did not approve temporary use permits. Councillors Andrew Jakubeit, Helena Konanz and John Vassilaki voted against the motion with acting mayor Garry Litke, Coun. Wesley Hopkin and Coun. Judy Sentes voting for it.

Mayor Dan Ashton offered his support for the hens in the past but he has taken a leave of absence since being elected as Penticton's MLA.

Litke apologized to the 23 applicants who had signed up and to the people on the program's waiting list. He explained there is a movement towards more organic food and getting nutrition from sources close-by.

Litke also apologized to city staff who have spent many hours researching the issue.

Jakubeit was reluctant in letting the program go further. He said there could be an issue when owners drop out of the program and were stuck with chickens. Under the program's rules the birds cannot be slaughtered.

Development director Anthony Haddad said staff's backyard hen research is still viable for the next time a group or an individual wants to start another backyard hen program.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1


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