ACTION ALERT: Canada; Chatham-Kent

Sample Letter and Contact Info at Bottom of Page!

There has been an absurd by-law proposal presented that will ban all snakes over 3.25' (1 meter), lizards over 1.6', chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs and much more. Also, no household may have more than 10 total pets/animals. Canadians, especially those within the municipality, should contact officials (see below) and voice their opposition. Remember to be civil and professional at all times.

For Canadians, signing the petition will have very little effect but will provide a talking point for those that meet with city officials. If you are in Chatham-Kent, nearby, or will be affected by this (i.e. do business in Chatham-Kent), you should also send emails, make phone calls and find other exotic pet owners who will be working on this issue. The contact information is all in the Acton Alert at www.usark.org/action-alert-canada-chatham-kent/. Some Canadian herpers have already made plans to speak with Council members.

This huge list may be intentional. They may "give up" some animals in hope that it will appease the masses. Don't stop fighting and support the entire exotic pet community.

There is a petition at http://goo.gl/voB2Ti

View the proposed by-law at http://goo.gl/ei7ZV7.

Contact the Chatham-Kent Mayor and Council at http://www.chatham-kent.ca/ckforms/council/contact.aspx.

Contact them individually at http://www.chatham-kent.ca/Council/councilmembers/Pages/CouncilMembers.aspx. Just click links and email/phone will appear at the top right.

5. Number of Animals

5.1. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on any one premises owned or
occupied by them more than three dogs.

5.2. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on any one premises owned or
occupied by them more than any combination of ten animals.

13.Prohibited Animals

13.1.No person shall keep animals belonging to the following orders:

Anseriformes (e.g. ducks, geese, swans and screamers), except located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Artiodactyla (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, deer, elk, alpacas and llamas), except located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Carnivora (e.g. otters, wolves, bears, coyotes, foxes, tigers, leopards, cougars, lions, lynx, mink, skunks, weasels, badgers, mongooses and racoons), except dogs, cats and ferrets; except minks located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Chiroptera (e.g. bats, myotis and flying foxes);

Crocodylia (e.g. alligators, crocodiles, gavials and caimans);

Edentates (e.g. anteaters, sloths and armadillos);

Galliformes (e.g. pheasants, grouse, guinea fowls, quail, turkeys, chickens and peafowls), except located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Lagomorpha (e.g. hares and pikas), except domestic rabbits; except hares located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Marsupialia (e.g. koalas, kangaroos, opossums, sugar gliders and wallabies);

Perissodactyla (e.g. horses, donkeys, jackasses, mules, zebras and ponies), except located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use;

Primates (e.g. chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and lemurs);

Proboscidea (e.g. elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses);
Raptors (e.g. eagles, hawks, falcons and owls), except as permitted under a provincial falconry licence;

Rodentia (e.g. porcupines, prairie dogs, nutria and chinchillas);

Squamata (e.g. lizards and snakes) except:
a) non-venomous snakes where neither the female nor the male of species exceeds or will exceed 1 metre in length from nose to tip of tail before or at maturity; and
b) non-venomous lizards (not including Iguana iguana) where neither the female nor the male of the species exceeds or will exceed 0.5 metres in length from nose to tip of tail before or at maturity; or Struthioniformes (e.g. ostriches, rheas, cassowaries, emus and kiwis), except ostriches, emus or kiwis located on premises zoned agricultural under the Municipality’s zoning by-law permitting such use.

13.2.No person shall keep or permit to be kept an animal that produces any poison, venom or toxin.

SAMPLE LETTER

Copy/paste these email addresses into your email’s “To” box (even better to send individual emails):

ckmayor@chatham-kent.ca, CKlicensing@chatham-kent.ca, mark.authier@chatham-kent.catrevor.thompson@chatham-kent.cakaren.herman@chatham-kent.cafrank.vercouteren@chatham-kent.cabryon.fluker@chatham-kent.casteve.pinsonneault@chatham-kent.cadavid.vandamme@chatham-kent.ca, joe.faas@chatham-kent.caleon.leclair@chatham-kent.cacarmen.mcgregor@chatham-kent.cajeff.wesley@chatham-kent.camichael.bondy@chatham-kent.cabrock.mcgregor@chatham-kent.cabob.myers@chatham-kent.cadarrin.canniff@chatham-kent.caderek.robertson@chatham-kent.cadouglas.sulman@chatham-kent.ca

Copy/paste one of these subject lines:

  1. NO to Animal Ownership By-Law
  2. Opposed to new Animal By-Law
  3. NO on new Animal By-law
  4. Animal By-Law is BAD

Copy/paste this sample letter. It is important personalize/edit at least one or two sentences at the beginning.

Dear Mayor Hope and Chatham-Kent Council Members,

I write today to oppose the newly-proposed “By-law for Responsible Animal Ownership.” While I understand your concerns over public safety, the exotic and reptile pet communities have evolved greatly and pet owners are much more responsible and educated. This by-law will punish responsible reptile and exotic animal keepers and is far over-reaching.

By-laws such as this only create problems that did not previously exist. Responsible keepers that have had these pets for years are now being forced to follow over-reaching legislation. Snakes at one meter in length weigh less than half a kilogram. Even hamsters and guinea pigs are banned in this by-law. This is a clear case of collective punishment in which you are punishing all pet keepers, rather than just the irresponsible ones. This by-law is highly-prejudiced against any pets other than dogs and cats.

This by-law does not protect the citizens of Chatham-Kent but it does punish them. This type of legislation is often pushed by anti-pet groups posing as animal welfare organizations. Animal cruelty should certainly be addressed, but banning and over-regulating pet ownership are not effective means to handle this concern. It’s a shame that officials would even consider this unjust by-law and not protect the freedoms of its citizens.

The maximum number of pets is also greatly unjust. Let’s take snakes, for example. A responsible pet keeper can easily keep a dozen or more snakes with the same time commitment as keeping one or two dogs or cats. Snakes require very little care, compared to dogs, to keep as healthy pets. They only require food once every 1-2 weeks and will only require a cage cleaning as often as they have very slow metabolisms. One can easily compare keeping snakes with keeping fish. Both require much less care than dogs or cats. Also, please know that the majority of snakes are not venomous and only a handful of species may attain lengths over 4 meters. Most snake species remain under 2 meters and weigh less than 2 kilograms. There are very few species of snakes that remain under 1 meter and these species rarely make good pets, nor are they often bred in captivity.

This ban will end many educational opportunities involving these animals. Properly supervised educational outreach programs can have tremendously positive impacts upon students. Also, a public safety risk is not a concern, especially since the public does not come into contact with animals kept by private owners.

Pet ownership is a matter of personal responsibility and not government action. Bans simply are not the answer and bans often lead to more problems than they attempt to resolve. This includes the euthanization of animals that were perfectly healthy but must now be killed as new homes for them cannot be found. I implore you to remove the list of prohibited species and maximum number of household pets in this by-law.

Sincerely,

Your name, address, contact info, etc.