Dear Ottawa City Hall:
We, residents of Ottawa, would like you to change the City by-law to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens (no roosters) in their backyards within City limits. Keeping hens would enable residents to provide a nutritious, delicious, safe, and environmentally friendly eggs for their families, while at the same time teaching our children where food comes from, and what it is worth.
Dr. David Waltner-Toews, veterinarian, epidemiologist, and professor at the University of Guelph, has written that he knows of “no evidence linking human illness with keeping small urban flocks.” Further, he believes that “if we do not make room for these urban entrepreneurs, we risk losing a set of very important food-rearing skills that will enable us to better navigate the economic, climatic and environmental instability our society will face in the coming decades.”
Backyard hens have always been allowed in many major US cities, including New York. Canadian cities such as Vancouver are now catching up. Please let us, the residents of Ottawa, join millions of other city dwellers in North America who are allowed to provide eggs for our families by keeping a few hens in the backyard.
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