Winnipeg City Council Votes No to Backyard Chickens

Winnipeg City Council rejected a proposed backyard hen project yesterday in a vote on  amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. Animal Justice, our supporters, the Winnipeg Humane Society, and other animal protection groups have been campaigning to help ensure that changes to the By-law will better protect animals in the city. We’re thrilled that city councillors said no to the urban hens program that would have been a risk to animal welfare and public health, especially during the current bird flu crisis.

Animal Justice understands that many people are drawn to the idea of keeping hens because they’re opposed to the abuse and suffering that is inherent in modern egg production on factory farms. But unfortunately, backyard hen programs are not a solution because of the very real health and welfare risks they create for both birds and humans, which are often overlooked. 

On the issue of dogs, Council unanimously approved new breed-neutral tools to promote responsible dog guardianship. This is great news for dogs and community safety! Unfortunately, a majority of Council voted to keep Winnipeg’s outdated and unscientific ban on pit bull-type dogs.  

A majority of the Standing Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks voted earlier this month to stop the ongoing review of the By-law as it pertains to exotic animal ownership. This is incredibly disappointing and will have devastating effects on rabbits, rats, snakes and other animals throughout Winnipeg who are in dire need of greater protections. 

Animal Justice has continued to raise this issue with the Executive Policy Committee and Council to explain why the By-law is failing exotic animals. We are hopeful that we will be able to get the issue back on the table after the municipal election this fall.  

Animal Justice lawyers have been working with a dedicated team of animal advocates in Winnipeg. Dozens of supporters contacted their councillors to voice their concerns about the need to protect Winnipeg’s companion animals and wildlife. Please join us as we continue pushing for stronger laws to protect animals across Canada from cruelty and abuse.

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