Halifax to study chickens in cities
Supporters say urban dwellers should be allowed to have fowl
The people who clucked their support for urban chickens Monday will have to wait until the summer for a Halifax municipal report on how other cities handle the issue.
About 25 people attended a rally outside City Hall as councillors from peninsular Halifax were about to meet.
"I keep chickens so I can have my own eggs, and I think there are a lot of other people who think food security is a right and we have the right to produce our own food," said Louise Hanavan, who brought her three hens.
Hanavan is at the centre of the debate over whether people in urban areas should be allowed to keep chickens.
The west-end Halifax resident was ordered to get rid of the hens in her backyard coop after a neighbour complained the chicken feed was attracting rats. The municipality said poultry is not allowed in her neighbourhood.
Cathy Guito brought her two children to the rally.
"We've wanted chickens in our backyard so we decided this is a good time to bring it up as an issue and just fight for the right because it's a move in the right direction for our society in Halifax," Guito said.
Some demonstrators handed out hard-boiled eggs, while others did the chicken dance.
Inside, Clarence MacGuiness, who lives across the street from Hanavan, told the community council that urban chickens are no laughing matter.
"A 40-by-100-foot lot is no place to raise chickens," he said. "She might be able to confine the chickens, but she certainly won't be able to confine the rats, and they're going to be in my neighbourhood."
The regional councillor for Hanavan's area, Sheila Fougere, asked municipal staff to look into how other cities regulate urban poultry.
That report, and any recommendations to councillors, is not expected for another six to seven months.
Hanavan was originally given until the end of January to get rid of her three hens. But late last month, that deadline was extended a month.