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Kamloops council gets cracking on urban hens

April 18, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A majority of Kamloops council are in favour of allowing urban chickens in the city.

At a workshop session of city council hens in residential neighbourhoods were discussed; six of the councillors spoke in favour of a potential bylaw allowing egg laying chickens in Kamloops. Only Mayor Peter Milobar and Coun. Ken Christian spoke against the possible bylaw change.

Council debated the size of lots that would be allowed to have chickens, use of electric fences to deter predators and the burden that may or may not be put on bylaw officers.

The number of hens suggested by city staff after researching other communities with similar bylaws would be a maximum of four, with a minimum property size of 4,000 square feet, or about 370 square meters, and a registration or permitting system in place to keep track of the city’s urban hen situation.

Milobar said the minimum property size was too small for the size of coops suggested in the bylaw, and was worried backyard hens would be another unenforceable bylaw. Christian added that chickens would bring health concerns.

Councillors speaking in favour, suggested hens wouldn’t be very different from other pets — like dogs, cats or rabbits — and that concerns about wildlife, feces, noise and bylaw issues are similar to those for dogs. 

“Dogs produce large amounts of noise and feces,” Coun. Tina Lange said. “Hens are not a big deal.”

While the the proposed changes to the bylaw were debated, no decisions have been made yet.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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