Letter: About time for chickens in Coquitlam

The Editor, Why can’t we have backyard chickens in Coquitlam like in some other Metro Vancouver cities?

The Editor,

Why can’t we have backyard chickens in Coquitlam like in some other Metro Vancouver cities?

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It is time that our city revisits its Animal Control Bylaw and the section that pertains to the archaic regulation disallowing some types of poultry on one’s property — namely, chickens.

Residents of Coquitlam need only look west to Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, where successful bylaws permit having a limited number of chickens on one’s property. This regulation sensibly does not permit the care of roosters nor chickens over the specified number permitted, undoubtedly to dissuade residents from engaging in a quasi-commercial enterprise.

It is overdue that the city of Coquitlam undertakes an amendment to its outdated poultry regulation and allows residents to enjoy the hobby of caring for a few chickens as pets whilst enjoying the additional benefit of supplying the household with healthy, organic eggs.

Individuals who would wish to have chickens on their property are no doubt not dissimilar from residents who enjoy other permitted pets, such as cats and dogs, and are individuals who love and care for these creatures in a comparable compassionate fashion. Needless to say, there are occasional rare cases of individuals who mistreat animals and handle them inappropriately but the current Animal Control Bylaw is specific about the care of permitted animals. Why could the existing bylaw not be amended to also include guidelines for the care of a few chickens as pets?

It is interesting that one Coquitlam street banner touts our beautiful city as “Historic!” One should note that, historically, there was no such regulation concerning chickens until the passage of the current Animal Control Bylaw in October 2011. After six years during which time other municipalities have paved the way to create a workable bylaw allowing some chickens on one’s property, it is high time that Coquitlam’s politicians amend the current regulations.

Homa Taherian, Coquitlam

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