High River, AB: Council will consider a delegation regarding the possibility of permitting urban chicken coops and backyard beehives within town limits at its June 22 meeting.
The current Animal Control Bylaw 4247/2009 would permit chicken coops and/or beehives only with the permission of the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer.
The benefits could include:
- educational opportunities (i.e. teaching children about where food, such as eggs and/or honey comes from, and providing animal care experience)
- cultivating bee populations (bees are vital to crop pollination and are an endangered species worldwide)
- eggs harvested in this manner are believed to be fresher, taste better and pesticide free
- contributing to global environmental sustainability with local initiatives
- helping to reduce carbon emissions associated with transporting food
While very remote, there are some concerns associated and they are:
- problems with the number, age, and sex of chickens (how many to keep, whether to include chicks or roosters)
- bee stings, bee allergies
- food safety issues (egg safety, unlawful sale or distribution)
- improper chicken (hen) care and treatment (ensuring there is not disease transmission from sick hens)
- pests, predators, noise and chicken waste
If resident support results in project approval, council may prohibit the sale or distribution of eggs and/or honey to others outside of the household in order to comply with relevant Provincial/Federal legislation. Administration may also limit the number of chickens and/or hives per household and ensure they are located in a manner that will reduce noise and other complaints.