Backyard chickens toronto

Toronto is about to change the rules for backyard chickens

Toronto may be putting a pause on residents owning 'backyard chickens' as cases of avian flu (or bird flu) rise across the province. 

UrbanHensTO was launched in 2018 following numerous years of debate by Toronto City Council. The program permits residents of Toronto to legally keep 4 hens, but no roosters.

Over the past few months, the rise in bird flu cases have raised concern over the program. Especially so since the flu is beginning to spread in mammals; foxes, skunks, racoons and small domestic pets. 

While it's not likely for a human to catch avian flu, Shayan Sharif, professor of poultry immunology at the University of Guelph's veterinary school, told CBC Toronto that it is not unheard of.

If the program is scrapped, those currently with chickens will be permitted to keep them.

The Globe & Mail reports that city officials will ask council to end the program this Tuesday after which the pilot project will be indefinitely put on pause.

According to reports, the 81 households that currenty have backyard chicken will be allowed to keep them until the end of the birds' lives.

Lead photo by

Verstappen Photography

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