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Toronto’s backyard chickens come home to roost (at city hall, right now)

The promised land: Columbus, Ohio (Image: Rachel Tayse)

Right now, in city hall’s Committee Room No. 1, the municipal Licensing and Standards Committee is meeting to determine the fate of the chickens that populate the backyards of Toronto (or, rather, the backyards of certain rebels in Toronto). They’ll be voting on a motion raised by Councillor Joe Mihevc that would allow a limited number of hens in city yards “for the purposes of producing eggs for personal consumption.” Should the motion pass, Toronto would join the ranks of such hen-happy cities as Vancouver, New York, Cleveland and Los Angeles. Things aren’t looking good, however: in an interview with the Toronto Star, committee chair Cesar Palacio argued that fears of mega-coops and feral birds will probably scuttle the motion. “I don’t think there is any appetite for backyard chickens,” he said. We’d love to see him tell that to the members of the chicken underground.

UPDATE: Following a spirited debate, with references to everything from Animal House to Animal Farm, the committee voted unanimously to defer the motion indefinitely, without a staff report—city hall–speak for killing it off for good.

 

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