Backyard hens in Edmonton?
River City Chickens Collective is an informal group of citizens who would like to see Edmontonians join the ranks of hundreds of people in cities around the world who enjoy having chickens right in their own backyards: cities like Victoria, Vancouver, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Brampton, Seattle, New York, LA, Portland, Madison, Houston and hundreds more.... Chickens have been part of city life for centuries and continue to be so, in many parts of the world, including in North America.
In February, 2010 we requested the City's permission to conduct a year-long pilot project to study the experiences of a small number of residents keeping hens in their backyards; the data compiled would be used to help the City evaluate the benefits of permitting hens on a city-wide basis. In August, 2010 we received a letter from a City official, advising us that "decisions regarding requests and proposals for exemptions to the Animal Licensing and Control Bylaw should be postponed until they can be evaluated in the context of the upcoming work to develop the City-wide food and agriculture strategy." On November 14, 2012 the City of Edmonton approved a Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy: fresh. Among the recommendations is that the City examine opportunities for citizens to keep bees and raise hens, including that it "[p]artner with local non-profits to assist in the evaluation of the implications of allowing urban backyard hens. City staff to report findings to City Council."
UPDATE: On July 4, 2014 City staff posted a report for consideration of the Community Services Committee on a potential Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project. The report says "This is the first of two reports outlining a proposed urban pilot project. A second report outlining a pilot on the keeping of hens is anticipated to come forward to Community Services Committee on August 18, 2014."
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