Keep on clucking! December 7

As the pilot comes to an end. City staff are presenting a report on Toronto's Backyard Urban Hens Pilot on December 7. 

Chicken champions will be asking the Economic and Community Development Committee on December 7 to:
1. Extend the pilot project for another two years
2. Extend the pilot project to wards represented by Councillors willing to undertake the pilot in their ward

You can show your support for urban hens before the December 7 meeting

The staff report is available, click here for PDF.

You can send a letter to the ECD Committee before December 7: or fax: 416-392-1879 

If you're in the riding of one of Councillors on the ECD Committee, your letter will be even more important if you send it directly to them. Find your councillor here 

(Please feel free to personalize this letter as personal letters have more impact than form letters. Include your address or postal code to show that you are a resident of Toronto.)

To members of the Economic and Community Development Committee,

RE: EC18.13 Extending the UrbanHensTO Backyard Hens Pilot Program

I am writing in support of City-wide legalization of backyard hens. 

The UrbanHensTO pilot program has demonstrated that backyard hens can easily be kept without causing odour, noise, pests or human health problems. 

As the staff report says, “There have not been any significant issues with the UrbanHensTO pilot program.”

Having control over the food you eat is the basis of food sovereignty. Many people keep backyard hens to ensure they have healthy food to eat. They want to eat eggs that have been produced in a humane way.

Many people consider their hens to be beloved pets, in much the same way as others consider their dogs and cats to be family companions.

The staff report points out that many newcomers, seniors, vulnerable individuals, and Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) disproportionately reside in apartment towers, and that 40% of families living in apartment towers are low income. 
Much like community gardens, allowing community hen projects could make a protein source available to residents living on low incomes while still meeting city regulations. These should be explicitly allowed along with backyard hens.  

Keeping backyard hens is a common urban practice throughout North America. (For example, 94 of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. allow backyard hens.) A bylaw legalizing backyard hens in Toronto should follow well-established guidelines and regulations that prioritize animal health and human safety. Such standards are commonly and straightforwardly enacted in cities across North America in enabling bylaws.

The UrbanHensTO pilot program has demonstrated that allowing backyard hens does not cause any significant issues. The pilot has demonstrated the safety, security and benefits of backyard hens.

I urge you to support the City-wide legalization of backyard hens.

(your name and address)

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