In just about every neighbourhood in Red Deer, there’s a genius who thinks it’s a good idea to keep a couple of Rottweilers or bull mastiffs to growl at children as they pass by.
Apparently, it never occurs to the owners of such large canines that they would be better suited for an acreage or farm.
Now, in Calgary and Vancouver, there is a movement afoot to allow urban dwellers to raise chickens in their backyards.
Proponents of this brilliant notion seemingly find it too difficult to drive to the supermarket to purchase eggs or a package of drumsticks.
Right now, about 50 Calgarians are raising chickens in their backyards. And if a new pilot project is approved, there will be even more.
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, city council is expected to enact a hen bylaw on Tuesday that will allow people on the West Coast to keep up to four chickens on their property. However, they are not going completely wacko in Lotusland: roosters, ducks, turkeys and pheasants will still be prohibited.
As well, chickens are to be banned from highrise balconies and front yards.
It’s noteworthy that a few years ago, City of Calgary officials argued that the community needed to move away from promoting itself with a cowboy theme because it made Calgary residents look like country bumpkins. Yet, today, somehow, allowing people to raise chickens within city limits is going to reflect positively on the cosmopolitan image of the community?
If chickens are to be allowed in Calgary and Vancouver, why not go all the way and allow people to build giant, stinking hog barns next to residential developments?
Better yet, why should dairy farms be located in the country when most of the milk drinkers are located in the city?
Obviously, local governments and urban planners approve certain uses for property within cities and forbid others for a reason.
If urban communities are to be pleasant environments for people to live in, then we must have some standards. Let’s keep the chickens and pigs in the country.
As for the Rottweilers, pitbulls and bull mastiffs, you know where this writer stands on that issue.
Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.