The great back yard chicken debate

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by Shaun McLaughlin

Recently an MM resident sent a missive to Council warning of health issues related to keeping chickens. That person provided no information to back up the claim. Many members of Council who straddled the fence on urban chickens were toppled over onto the No side by this. (Often one No equals 100 yes votes in public opinion.) Here are a few links to rebut that unsubstantiated missive:

 Debunking avian health scares: http://www.torontochickens.com/Toronto_Chickens/Council_Package_files/Avian%20Influenza_%20Unjustly%20Blaming%20Outdoor%20Flocks%20%7C%20The%20Humane%20Society%20of%20the%20United%20States.pdf

 Big operators not small the health problem: http://www.torontochickens.com/Toronto_Chickens/Council_Package_files/Fowl%20play_%20The%20poultry%20industr.pdf

 Also, one councillor seized on the missive to post a link of his own from the prestigious Center for Disease Control on “the risks of keeping chickens”. If you read the whole document  beyond the part about risks, you will see that the CDC suggests most of the health problems occur with pet chickens kept in the house (not recommended and not part of the by-law change I propose). Here is the document

At least 20 urban municipalities in NA now allow small hen flocks. The evidence is strongly in favor of the benefits.

What we are facing in the Great Chicken Debate is mostly ignorance and the small-town fear of doing something different.

If you want the right to raise chickens (which the Ramsay hamlets had before amalgamation), then you need to lobby your councillors. The vote comes March 22.

Take control of your food.

Shaun McLaughlinCouncillor, Mississippi Mills shaunoncouncil.ca