Windsor

Feathers ruffled over council's chicken ban

Posted: November 15, 2010

Windsor city council has voted against studying the possibility of allowing urban chicken farming inside city limits.

A group of Windsor residents is upset the city has refused to review a ban on raising chickens in an urban environment.

On Sunday, the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub — "Cluck" for short — held an open house at a home in Windsor's Walkerville neighbourhood.

One member of the group, Sarah Klacso, questioned whether the city's 25-year-old ban on keeping chickens inside city limits is legal and suggested a legal challenge could result. The group, which claims about 140 members, had asked the city to re-examine Bylaw 8156, passed on March 18, 1985, which bans the keeping of chickens, turkeys, ducks and other "domestic fowl" within city limits. The fine for violations is $100.

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But last week city council indefinitely deferred a motion to set up a committee to study the issue.

Supporters concerned about food safety

Steve Green, who has been leading the campaign to keep chickens, said the residents are not looking at turning the city into a giant chicken coop:

"We're just some folks who are concerned about our own food security and our own food safety and choose not to want to buy our eggs from 2,000 miles away or 200 miles away it's quite easy to have a couple of chickens quietly in your neighbourhood," said Green.

"I know personally in my neighbourhood there are a number of my neighbours that have chickens and nobody complains, nobody sees chickens running all around the neighbourhood, it's just people wanting to be able to be smart with their money and smart with the food they put in their mouth."

Green and supporters are still angry with councillor Drew Dilkens' suggestion that setting up a committee to study the possibility of allowing urban chickens to be raised in backyards would be "clucking ridiculous."