City of Toronto Staff Propose to End Backyard Hen Pilot Program in Light of Bird Flu Cases

The City of Toronto’s Economic and Community Development Committee have recommended an indefinite pause on the UrbanHensTO pilot program, which allows people to legally keep up to four chickens in their backyard, citing concerns about rising cases of the H5N1 virus  or avian influenza in the province. In addition to concerns about this virus, a recent report from city staff says continuing the program and expanding it to the rest of the city would cost too much. The program launched in 2018 and currently has approximately eighty households enrolled. The recommendation will be considered at a City Council meeting on May 10th.