Kitchener to consider review of ban on backyard chickens

Kitchener City Council will decide Monday if they want to review the ban on raising urban chickens.

Bylaw officials ask council to consider: Do urban chickens belong in Kitchener?

The City of Kitchener is looking into reviewing its ban on urban fowl. (CBC)

Kitchener City Council will decide Monday if they want to conduct a review of the city's ban on backyard chickens. 

The ban on urban fowl has come under fire recently after Kitchener resident Heidi Wall was forced to give up her four backyard chickens in July. Complaints from the public, and media attention about the seizure of the chickens prompted the city's bylaw officials to suspend enforcement of the ban, and ask council to conduct a review of the law. 

Bylaw officials are asking council for permission to conduct a policy review of other cities that allow urban chickens. They are also asking for time to consult with the public. City staff will then report their findings to council and give a recommendation to either continue, or eliminate the ban. 

According to Gloria MacNeil, the city's supervisor of bylaw enforcement, now is a good time to look at making a change, "The bylaw is 28-years-old and we've really never had anybody come forward and ask for it to be looked at, it made sense to look at a bylaw that's pretty old if there is a desire to have backyard chickens." said MacNeil. 

Kitchener Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh says she will support a review of the policy, " We are not deciding whether or not to have chickens, we are deciding whether or not to review it, and with a petition of well over 1,000 signatures its high time we respond to citizens input." said Marsh. 

If the review is approved, bylaw officials will continue to suspend enforcement of the ban until the review is complete and council has made a decision. The review is expected to take several months.