Backyard coup

Mayor Emma Cole, Dee Watts with Dylan, Cr Dan Loden and his son Ethan.

CHICKENS, bees and pigeons will soon be legal in Vincent.

Until now backyard poultry has been banned in the southern half of Vincent, and nearly-impossible to keep in the northern half given setback rules meant most blocks could never fit a chook.

Twelve-year-old Piper from Leederville spoke at her first council meeting on December 13 and told councillors: “I want the bylaw for chickens to pass because I want to be able to raise those chickens from chicks and to be able to have that responsibility when I get older… I would also like to be able to have eggs from those chickens and be able to collect them every day after school and be able to cook with them.”

It’s been a years-long process to get the Animal Local Law changed, requiring lengthy public advertising and liaising with the WA government. 

Mayor Emma Cole said a lot of Vincent folk are interested in sustainable living and a few have “probably secretly been harbouring chickens in their backyard wondering whether there’ll be an inspection coming their way.

“Welcome to the chickens and goodbye to the prohibited-chicken-area zone. It’s about time, and we’re very excited to reach this point.

“Giving people more autonomy to have chickens and bees fits with our sustainability ethos in Vincent.

“Chickens are becoming increasingly popular in our inner city suburbs, with people wanting to raise chickens to take on the vegetable scraps and in turn, lay fresh eggs each day. Beehives and DIY bee homes are also on the rise, as people understand the positive impact that bees have on our local biodiversity and the health benefits of honey.”

Now up to six chickens or pigeons will be allowed in enclosed pens, as long as residents ensure there’s no public health nuisance. Beekeepers can have two hives on a property of 400sqm or less, and up to four hives on bigger properties.

The new rules require a final sign-off by a parliamentary committee before they’re officially in force, but Ms Cole said “if some chickens appear over Christmas, I don’t know that there’ll be too much care about that”.

by DAVID BELL

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