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The urban chicken issue will return to Nelson City council this fall

To the Editor:

The domestic dog: a wolf descendant whose bite is responsible for about 1,000 hospitalizations per day (mostly facial injuries of kids), and 34 deaths in 2010 in the USA alone.

Known for producing loud noise at all hours of the day, often roaming freely and leaving unsightly and smelly poop everywhere. Perfectly legal in Nelson. 

The domestic cat: killer of between 100 million and half a billion birds per year and a known carrier of toxoplasmosis, which poses a serious risk to pregnant women and their babies.

Generally roam freely, have a tendency to engage in loud nocturnal fights and poop everywhere. Perfectly legal in Nelson. 

The domestic chicken: Lives in a confined space, produces minor sound and smell and up to 300 healthy eggs per year. Eats insects, slugs, weeds and kitchen scraps.

Poops only at home and its scat is appreciated by gardeners as high quality fertilizer. Illegal in Nelson.

Nelson-Creston Greens are not at all opposed to allowing dogs and cats in Nelson. On the contrary, pets can greatly enrich people's lives and the vast majority never bite anybody and never poop on sports fields, playgrounds and other people's lawns.

However, the urban chicken issue will return to Nelson city council this fall, and we believe it would only be fair to set the bar for safety and annoyance at the same height for all animals and their owners.

We also hope that councillors, in making their decision, will not only consider the risks, but also the social, educational and food security benefits of allowing backyard chickens in Nelson.

for Nelson-Creston Greens, Sjeng Derkx