Summerside council votes to let man keep his backyard chickens

Summerside city council has voted in favour of giving a man a permit to keep four laying hens in his backyard — with conditions.

Councillors voted seven to one during Monday's council meeting in favour of granting the permit to Jiri Rambousek.

Many P.E.I. municipalities do not allow residents to keep chickens on their property, but in Summerside residents can apply for a permit as long as they abide by the animal control bylaw.

Coun. Barb Ramsay said that permit will be valid for one year, at which point council will review his application and determine whether the permit will be renewed. 

"There were a number of conditions on that permit, and if everything goes well and he abides by all the conditions then next year, June 2020, we will give him a two-year permit," Ramsay said.

Conditions applied to permit

Some of those conditions include keeping the hens' area clean and properly storing food to avoid pests, Ramsay said. She said police may also check on the property if they receive complaints about the animals and intervene if they feel it's necessary.

"If there are any complaints to … just to go in and do random inspections, they'd be carried out throughout the year as well to make sure that everything's going well," Ramsay said.

Steve Bruce/CBC

She said council asked members of the community if they had any complaints about the backyard chickens, but the majority of community members had none. Council felt Rambousek should be allowed to keep chickens and produce his own eggs, she added.

Ramsay said council also consulted with the Island's chief public health officer, who didn't feel the chickens posed any risks. 

Rambousek had no comment Monday, but plans to review the permit and its conditions with police Tuesday.

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