Work continues on drafting bylaw for controlling Orangeville’s animals

January 25, 2024   ·   0 Comments


The public will have a chance to weigh in on updates to Orangeville’s proposed new Animal Control Bylaw.

A public meeting will be held at some point early this year, council was told during its regular meeting on Jan. 22. Feedback from the public will be considered before the legislation is formally adopted.

Councillor Joe Andrews lives in a neighbourhood that’s adjacent to “significant” green space.

“We do have individuals who feel it’s their justice to leave food out for the wildlife to use,” he said. “I appreciate neighbours who feed our birds, but we’ve had other wildlife that potentially could pose some challenges for safety of our residents.”

The proposed updated Animal Control Bylaw forbids feeding wildlife on one’s property, except songbirds. But there are conditions for songbirds, too.

The food has to be placed in a bird feeder sufficiently above ground, and the bird feeding device has to be on private property. Any food spilled from the bird feeding device has to be removed in a timely manner so it doesn’t attract other wildlife. And the bird feeder has to be kept clean.

The proposed bylaw states that nobody shall permit a feeding device or any attractants to be left outside on any property. And a person may feed songbirds on their property provided it does not create a nuisance by reason of odour, sight, or otherwise.

Andrews questioned how the restrictions on feeding wildlife will be enforced.

“I’ve had a number of neighbours who were aware that this was coming down and zeroed in specifically on this section of the report,” he said.

Antonietta Minichillo, the town’s general manager of corporate services, said municipal staff encourages public feedback. As such, the draft bylaw will be the subject of public meetings in the coming months.

“We want that robust feedback from the public, and if there’s an area of concern or an area that we can update in any manner, happy to take that back and update it,” she said.

“And then we can talk with our bylaw team in terms of what’s feasible in terms of enforcement, what may not be, but how we can tweak the language to better address some of the concerns brought up from the public.”

Andrews said some individuals who contacted him about the proposed bylaw want to express their concerns in a public forum, such as a council meeting, to give staff a heads up.

Coun. Tess Prendergast said she understood the bylaw provisions around barking dogs were to be removed from the animal bylaw and incorporated into the town’s noise bylaw.

“Will this change enforcement or what the town can do to prevent excessive barking?” she said.

“I don’t know that it will strengthen what the town can do in any way,” Minichillo said.

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