Campbell River council tightens rules on keeping backyard hens

Changes made by council call for doubling of fines and seizure of chickens for those not abiding by the rules

Changes made by council Tuesday to the new urban hen bylaw will double the fines for those not abiding by the rules and allow the city to seize an owner’s poultry.

Council approved the bylaw at a council meeting Oct. 22, making it legal for residents living on residential properties to raise up to six hens in their backyards.

At that same meeting, council requested city staff report back on how best to deal with those who aren’t properly raising their hens and don’t know how to properly maintain a chicken coop.

Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s sustainability manager, came back with a report released Friday suggesting council make a few changes to the bylaw to ensure compliance.

“The amendment bylaws have been updated to enable the city to revoke a hen owner’s licence and to provide the city with the ability to seize hens once a licence has been revoked,” Zirnhelt wrote in her report.

All residents who want to keep hens in their backyard must get a licence from city hall by filling out a licence form and paying a $10 fee.

Under the proposed changes, that licence could be revoked by the city and the hen owner could have their hens taken away if they are out of compliance with the bylaw and do not remedy the problem within 10 days of being notified of the problem by an animal control officer.

The alternative is a fine which city staff is recommending be increased from $50 to $100.

The city would also have the right to seize hens from any owner who does not have a licence.

The city’s backyard hen bylaw was crafted after years of lobbying by a local sustainability group.

The most recent effort was spearheaded by former councillor Morgan Ostler and Kira DeSorcey, a food sovereignty activist, last December.

Ostler said raising hens in local yards would help the city become a producer of its own food.

According to a May report from Zirnhelt, other benefits of keeping urban hens include: providing an opportunity for people to learn where food comes from and an opportunity for children to learn about the food system and caring for animals; chicken manure for compost and gardening; access to cheaper health food protein; regular access to a healthy food source; as well as diverting organic material from the landfill as chickens consume food scraps.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Provincial Election candidates for the North Island riding. (Campbell River Mirror graphic)
Over 4,300 mail-in ballots returned so far in North Island district

Elections BC provides progress report before vote count

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019. Campbell River Mirror file photo
Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony to go ahead in reduced form

Public asked not to attend; event will be streamed on social media, Shaw TV

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Black Creek environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Two suspects seen outside of Gord Knight Auto on Oct. 27 at around 4:15 a.m. Campbell River RCMP are looking for information on these suspects’ identities. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP look for suspects in break-in cases

Two suspects caught on surveilance video

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Most Read