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County’s new Animal Bylaw dictates how many animals are allowed per acre

Posted on February 21, 2018 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

An Animal Bylaw is now in effect for Lethbridge County.

During their regular January meeting, Lethbridge County council discussed bylaw 17-008, or the Animal Control bylaw.

The bylaw had previously been given first reading during their Dec. 7 council meeting, with second reading being table so a discussion with the bylaw’s project team can take place over question that arose during the meeting, namely on the number of animals allowed on certain sized parcels of land.

“I think this was the biggest one we wanted to talk about, was the number of animals that would be allowed on an acre, and so in discussion with the project team, we decided that we would keep the number of animals the same up to under four acres, and then on those parcels that were four acres and more, we bumped it up by one,” said Hilary Janzen, senior planner for the county.

“So instead of four, we went to five, six, seven, eight. And that’s to account for when you have a larger parcel, and I think everybody can appreciate that, you do have more room for animals. Your house and your shop and your garage are all going to stay the same no matter what your acreage size is, relatively speaking. But as your acreage size grows you’ll have more of that pasture space, hay space, space to house some potential animals.”

In addition, there were some wording changes to make the bylaw “more readable”.

Reeve Lorne Hickey inquired about the possibility allowing chickens in hamlets, noting conversations with bylaw officers from other municipalities saying they have more of a problem with dogs over chickens.

Janzen said that during the early bylaw discussions, they decided they didn’t want chickens in hamlets.

“I know that’s a discussion that’s come up in many different municipalities, specifically urban municipalities with allowing for chickens superficially — hens more specifically — in an urban municipality. When it was discussed, I just felt that that was just something that people don’t necessarily, they might like chickens as a, for an interim, but then they don’t know how to necessarily clean up after them,” said Janzen. “When you clean up the little chicken barn, how are you getting ride of that? People don’t clean up after them, and you get that ammonia smell over time. It’s problematic, if you can understand that, so we decided we don’t want chickens in hamlets.”

Coun. Steve Campbell said that the bylaw “looks good” as long as it was complaint driven, rather then having the county “over-react to everything”.

Council passed the second and third and final reading of the bylaw.

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