Municipality to proceed
with exotic pets bylaw

By Liz Dadson


Kincardine council

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If you have always wanted to own a kangaroo, and you live in the Municipality of Kincardine, you may want to rethink that idea.

In committee-of-the-whole Wednesday night (Oct. 15), council gave direction to staff to draw up an exotic pets bylaw, defining what animals are prohibited in Kincardine.

In her report, chief building official Michele Barr noted that Huron-Kinloss Township prohibits the keeping of certain animals (various exotic). Special exemptions are granted to veterinary hospitals; schools; zoo or animal displays operated by, or on behalf of, the township; and travelling circus-type shows.

She said Goderich prohibits the keeping of certain animals (various exotic) in the town, with exemptions similar to Huron-Kinloss.

In both cases, if exotic pets were already kept in the municipality, the owner would be allowed to keep them - however, the onus of proof is on the owner.

Saugeen Shores does not have a bylaw regulating exotic pets, said Barr.

A proposed bylaw can include provisions for penalties for non-compliance, she added, noting that the bylaw enforcement officer has not received any calls or complaints regarding exotic animals in the municipality.

If approved, a Kincardine exotic pets bylaw would prohibit the ownership of a number of animals, including kangaroos, opossums,, gorillas, monkeys, skunks, weasels, bears, raccoons, hyenas, elephants, venomous reptiles, ostriches, eagles, bats, crocodiles, scorpions, and more. To read the entire list, click here.

Councillor Kenneth Craig said he understands there are categories of animals that the municipality would want to prohibit, such as venomous snakes, but questioned including emus or mink which are recognized commercial crop animals.

"There are categories on this list that it is inappropriate to exclude from the agricultural community," he said. "This would be fine for urban centres."

"We can revisit the list when the bylaw is brought forward," said councillor Maureen Couture, policy chairperson for planning.

"How do you exclude a category from the list?" asked Craig. "What if someone wants a snake farm or a crocodile farm?"

Barr said if someone wanted such a thing as a skunk farm, that person would have to request an exemption from the bylaw.

"That's totally backwards," argued Craig.


"It's like the sign bylaw," said Couture.

"I disagree," said councillor Mike Leggett. "It's not like the sign bylaw. Staff should look at this list and decide what should remain."

"Staff can bring a revised list forward and we can consider that when the draft bylaw is brought forward," said Couture.

Committee-of-the-whole agreed. Later, in council session, that recommendation was approved.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014