Success! Toronto City Council Votes to End Backyard Hen Pilot Program

We have good news for hens! After hearing from concerned citizens and animal protection groups, including Animal Justice, Toronto’s Economic and Community Development Committee is proposing to shut down its UrbanHensTO backyard chicken pilot program.

Animal Justice has vocally opposed this program because we know it’s harmful for hens—they risk getting and spreading avian flu, may not be able to access proper veterinary care, and may be discarded when they stop laying eggs. Our latest op-ed in the Toronto Star dives deeply into these issues and is helping raise awareness for why urban chicken programs do more harm than good.

On Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023, Animal Justice’s staff lawyer, Scott Tinney, presented at the Committee meeting to speak up for hens and to request that the pilot be shut down. Thankfully, the Committee listened to our concerns, and are recommending an end to the pilot!

A big thanks to everyone who wrote to city councillors to ask them to end the pilot program. The recommendation will go to City Council next month, and we will share any updates we receive on the fate of UrbanHensTO.