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Orillia residents will have say on hen coops at meeting

In Council Watch
Mar 2nd, 2016

By Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

City council isn’t chicken and will let the public have its say about hen coops in the city.

Staff reported to council committee on a citizen inquiry from earlier this year about the possibility of allowing hen coops in residential backyards.

“We need to change the bylaws to (allow) citizens of Orillia to have hens in contained coops within fenced-in properties to provide eggs to eat,” Ian Tulloch wrote in the email.

The public meeting will take place sometime this spring. Staff has been directed to report back to council — with information on maximum number of hens permitted, coop standards and a variety of other issues — by May 30.

When preparing the report, staff received a number of comments from concerned parties, including letters of support from the Orillia Food Council and a local chicken farmer.

Egg Farmers of Ontario also provided correspondence, recognizing there is a growing interest in raising egg-laying hens but warning taking care of chickens requires a great deal of expertise and could pose health risks for the owners or anyone consuming eggs if not cared for appropriately.

The public meeting has not yet been scheduled.

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