Salmo: Council updating animal control bylaw

Salmo council may soon be crying foul on its backyard chicken trend.

Salmo council may soon be crying foul on its backyard chicken trend.

The village has moved to update its animal control bylaw in response to the increasing number of chicken coops cropping up on residential properties.

Since 2004, it has been free range for animals other than dogs in the Village of Salmo, said Scott Sommerville, chief administrative officer.

“Since 2010, mayor and council have been discussing an animal control bylaw,” he explained.

“Once council reaches a consensus on what regulations they would like to see, the bylaw will receive its first reading.”

But first, the bylaw regulations need to be more clear cut, said Coun. Merle Hanson.

“It’s not just a matter of saying, okay you can have four hens. There are a lot of other issues that need to be taken into consideration,” he said at last week’s council.

“In particular, how are you going to enforce it?” he questioned.

Hanson explained that even Vancouver’s animal control bylaw is only enforced based on complaint.

“It will all depend on how your neighbour feels about chickens in order for the bylaw to be consistent.”

However, Salmo residents who currently house backyard cluckers may not need to be concerned just yet.

“I would expect that residents who already have chickens will be ‘grandfathered in,’” said Sommerville.

“They will be allowed to continue until their operation ceases.”

Additionally, under the new bylaw it is not just feathered friends whose numbers may be endangered within the village boundaries.

Council is also considering a limit on the number of cats that a property owner may possess.

“I think they are more of a problem that chickens,” said Coun.  Jennifer Peel.