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Napanee City Council to take into consideration proposed unique animal bylaw

A captive lynx is revealed nose to nose with a domestic kitten at Roaring Cat Retreat, Grand Bend, in April 2019. Impression from Instagram.

In the many years-extended wake of the controversy bordering a roadside zoo breeding significant cats in a close by municipality, Napanee joins communities throughout Ontario debating the need for municipal handle of unique animals.

A proposed unique animal byaw that comes right before Higher Napanee Council next week will vary noticeably from the version beforehand presented at the Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 Council conference. The alterations to the bylaw, which was at first proposed to regulate and manage the ownership of exotic animals, appear on the heels of community opinions that characterised the proposal as too restrictive.

City Council received a report for data and the proposed template for the bylaw at their Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, assembly.

The in the beginning proposed bylaw looked at three classes of animals: animals that pose a threat to human security, animals that pose an invasive species chance if they escape, and animals with intricate care requirements that the average person may possibly have problem offering.

On the other hand, according to Municipal Clerk Jessica Walters, “Based on the opinions received, we will be revising our checklist to just focus on that initially class [animals that pose a risk to human safety].”

The authentic listing of animals that the bylaw proposed to ban altogether included some astonishing animals acknowledged for currently being popular pets, such as hedgehogs, parrots, iguanas, and ball pythons. “These exotic animals lists are inclined to be equivalent across municipalities,” discussed Walters, “and I know Hastings County labored with the provincial OSPCA (Ontario Modern society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in developing their bylaw, between other companies.”

In truth, exotic animal bylaws are at the moment becoming considered by municipalities all more than the province, spurred on by a controversy begun in 2020 that noticed Hastings County acquire issues into its very own fingers when a roadside zoo that bred lions established up store in Maynooth.

Federal and provincial laws regulates the importing of exotic animals, the defense of endangered species, and the defense against animal cruelty. Having said that, no province-wide legislation regulates the maintaining of exotic animals as domestic animals in Ontario. It is up to the discretion of each and every municipality whether or not or how to restrict possession. The authority to do so is granted beneath the Municipal Act, 2001.

Mark Drysdale kisses 1 of his “pets” at Roaring Cat Retreat, positioned at his previous Grand Bend house in 2019. Image from Instagram.

So when Mark and Tammy Drysdale were being all but pushed from their property in Grand Bend by citizens who petitioned the local council opposing the couple’s correct to keep and publicly exhibit unique animals in their neighbourhood, they basically moved to a municipality that experienced no this kind of bylaw.

On August 18, 2021, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands passed its own unique animal bylaw, which other municipalities, together with Better Napanee, have now made use of as a template for their very own. Sad to say, the bylaw did not cease 4 of the Drysdales’ lions from digging their way into a neighbouring enclosure on the assets and killing and consuming a mother tiger in July 2021. The Drysdales have been, on the other hand, were being billed with animal cruelty.

In accordance to World Animal Protection, when Ontario restricts the possession of native wild animals, the province’s guidelines do at the moment not tackle unique wild animal possession. Ontario is the only Canadian province that doesn’t legislate the possession of unique animals, these as lions, tigers, apes, and venomous reptiles, possessing delegated that obligation to municipalities in 2001.

On-line feed-back gathered by the city of Higher Napanee from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15, 2022, found that numerous Napanee residents were significant of the checklist of species prohibited by the proposed bylaw around 45 for every cent of respondents located it far too restrictive. The feed-back indicated there is normal assistance for a bylaw that restricts possession of animals that could pose a hazard to human perfectly-currently being or that pose an invasive species danger. But there is significantly less support for limiting possession of animals that have superior treatment requires, presented that cruelty to animals is presently regulated less than the Provincial Animal Welfare Products and services Act. On the other hand, many (32 for each cent of respondents) reported they saw no need for a bylaw at all.

On-line responses to inquiries by Kingstonist uncovered considerably the similar amount of response. Additionally, some respondents stated that there is a require for a bylaw limiting the number of animals that can be retained at a property. Just one illustration given was breeders who preserve hundreds of smaller breeding animals like rats and snakes in confined areas. 

A the latest research of Kijiji (Canada’s major categorized advertising and marketing site with tens of millions of stay ads in a vast range of categories) observed a selection of unique animals readily available to purchase in Napanee and the surrounding municipalities, with shipping available. This is even with the reality that Kijiji’s guidelines do not permit any advertisements that offer the shipment of animals: “Animals may perhaps only be marketed locally so that the transactions can take place in individual.” 

A Ball Python getting bought in the vicinity of Napanee on Kijiji. Impression from Kijiji.

These marketed animals integrated some that were being initially listed on the template bylaw as prohibited, which includes ball pythons, iguanas and geckos.

Questioned about this kind of circumstance, Walters claimed, “We do not currently have a bylaw that limits the quantity of animals that are authorized to be stored (other than canine), but we will overview to see if snake breeding would be regarded as a business use with related scheduling restrictions… Grandfathering clauses would apply to animals current on the working day a bylaw is passed, not new animals bred right after that working day.”

The Town of Larger Napanee has been with no an exotic animals bylaw since late 2015. In March 2021, Council passed a resolution directing staff members to provide forward a new bylaw to control the keeping of unique pets. Owing to staff members turnover, this was not brought ahead until eventually September 2022 and then, owing to the timing of the election, was further more deferred. 

The Jan. 10 staff report to Council indicated that, even though there may well be operational issues related to re-introducing an unique animal restriction, not undertaking so could possibly also have significant implications. The holding of dangerous animals as pets by untrained folks poses a potential health and protection threat to citizens and a likely hazard to unexpected emergency company responders. 

Even more, if permitted, the proposed bylaw consists of grandfathering clauses for any at present owned exotic animals in the group which would require entrepreneurs to show they can meet up with protection and housing specifications for all those animals. 

The City acquired a lawful assessment of the draft bylaw, which confirmed that the proposed grandfathering clauses would be sufficient to enforce any future noncompliance of the bylaw. 

The new version of the proposed bylaw has nevertheless to be posted for assessment on the town internet site, but it will likely turn into available on Thursday, Jan 26, 2023, in advance of it again arrives before Council on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.