Last week in Toronto the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee voted unanimously to defer the motion brought forward by Councillor Joe Mihevc that would allow a limited number of hens in city yards “for the purposes of producing eggs for personal consumption.” The ultimate way to ensure you are getting local and organic eggs.
The issue raised concerns from both the Animal Alliance (who had concern for the welfare of the birds) but also from other Councillors who felt it would put further strain on animal services and the police force who would presumably have to deal with a rash of chicken thefts.
In my current set up and with my current lifestyle raising chickens in my backyard isn’t really an option – though I would like to think that if things were different it would be something I would consider. And with cities such as New York and Vancouver being hen friendly I hesitate to see what the resistance is here in Toronto. You can read more about Toronto’s Backyard Chicken Underground Here. There is also a whole website dedicated to information about Backyard Chickens with information about how to keep them.
Coming up on February 15 the Toronto Food Policy Council (which connects diverse people from the food, farming and community sector to develop innovative policies and projects that support a health-focused food system) will be having meeting, one of the items on the agenda is the backyard chicken policy. The TFPC meetings are open to all and cover a wide a variety of topics relating to food policy and systems. The meeting on February 15 takes place from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at City Hall.