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

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

New video shows how high tensions are between drivers and cyclists in Toronto

Toronto massage parlour murder considered act of incel terrorism in historic ruling

Climate change is helping black-legged ticks spread Lyme disease across Canada

Toronto totally smells like smoke as air quality statement warns of threat to life

Mayoral candidate criticized for littering Toronto with way too many election signs

Ontario man throws a fit and calls authorities over camper van blocking his house's view

People slammed for complaining about Pride events at Toronto school

Toronto ranked one of the best cities in the world