Regina Council votes down backyard hen pilot program

Regina City Council concluded its inaugural meeting of the year by dismissing a proposal to allow backyard hens.

Ward 8 Coun. Shanon Zachidniak had initially suggested a two-year pilot project, later amending it to request a report on associated costs and potential forms of the initiative.

However, the motion faced a deadlock as the council split the vote, resulting in a 5-5 tie.

This outcome led Amy Snider, a delegate representing Queen City Chickens, an organization advocating for the pilot project, to express frustration and leave the council chamber.

It also left Zachidniak frustrated.

“I can understand why many folks in Regina are frustrated with council, frustrated with democracy when they feel their elected officials don’t listen to them,” she said. “I think that’s what it says to them, is your elected officials aren’t listening, and I think that’s really unfortunate.”

Mayor Sandra Masters, along with Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins, Ward 4 Coun. Lori Bresciani, Ward 5 Coun. John Findura, and Ward 10 Coun. Landon Mohl opposed the motion for a report.

Masters cited various concerns raised by councillors, including pest implications, fears of avian flu transmission, and the potential strain on the city’s bylaw officers.

For Zachidniak, she believes this isn’t the last council has seen for backyard hens.

“I’m not feeling very great after the vote on backyard chickens. We were super close but, once again, unsuccessful. This has come before council in the past, it’ll come forward again. I think that folks are going to continue asking council for this until one-day council aggress to move forward with simply testing this idea.”

Under Regina’s current bylaws, keeping livestock such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks and geese within city limits is banned.

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