After nine months of review, the City of Toronto amended by-law Chapter 349, Animals (see above; Issue 4 Spotlights, Legislative Updates; Issue 18 Legislative Updates). During the City Council meeting on July 20th, nearly all Economic and Community Development Committee amendments were adopted. However, City Council Member, Shelley Carroll, introduced a motion abandoning her previous move to ban free-roaming owned cats, which carried. Instead, pet cats and pigeons will continue to be allowed to roam free in Toronto, with a provision that the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards will “continue to work on increasing the rate of licenses and/or micro-chipping of domestic cats and report back on potential changes to by-laws regarding domestic cat ownership when feasible.” In a news release, the Toronto City Council describes the amendments, including:
- Prohibiting the feeding of wildlife in Toronto, with some exceptions such as songbirds fed using bird feeders;
- Limiting the number of guinea pigs and rabbits to four per household;
- Limiting the number of domestic pigeons to thirty per property, with allowances for an increase to fifty during the breeding season (between April and October);
- Allowing dog owners twenty-four hours to remove dog waste from their property;
- Ensuring pets who are kept outdoors have adequate shelter to keep them safe during extreme weather conditions.
The Toronto City Council vote took place from 2:10 PM to 2:15 PM on July 20th, with twenty-one councilors voting "yes", two voting "no", and two absent votes. Watch the City Council vote here (animal by-law review vote beginning at 4:36:00). See the amended animal by-law here, and read about the review process here.