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Elk Point says no to chickens in backyards

The Town of Elk Point has denied requests for residents to keep chickens in their backyard.

After receiving a number of requests from residents seeking urban hen permits, council discussed the possibilities at the May 13th meeting.

Members of council expressed concerns regarding the disposal of manure, unpleasant odours, noisy birds, and predators and nuisance animals being attracted to the coops.

One submission asks for permission to keep three laying hens at a homeowner’s property for the summer. Included with the letter are plans displaying a fully fenced backyard and a proposed coop.

The City of Lacombe was brought up as an example of a municipality that does allow for chickens in yards. Lacombe regulates the number of hens in urban backyards for personal use.

After a lengthy discussion, the Town passed a motion denying the request to keep hens within the Town’s corporate limits. Councilor Tim Smereka opposed the motion, saying that he is open to community input.

Mayor Lorne Young upheld the motion, but said he sees this issue as a good opportunity for public engagement, quipping, “Chickens are on the table for discussion.”

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