No sheep allowed

Mount Pearl amends it’s pet policy

By Mark Squibb | Vol 7 No. 14 (July 18, 2019)

The City of Mount Pearl is amending regulations governing feathered, furry, and scaled companions.

During July 9 meeting, council approved several amendments to it’s Animal Control Regulations, which provide the City with the authority to regulate the keeping of cats and dogs, other domestic pets, and livestock.

“Proposed amendments can be grouped together in two main types; updates required to clarify intent or modify intent as recommend, and housekeeping type edits,” explained councillor Bill Antle.

Under section 2, which defines terms used throughout the act, definitions are being added for domestic pet, livestock, nuisance animal or domestic pet, and the definition for nuisance is extended.

Domestic pets other than cats and dogs now include all animals kept in, or adjoining, the home, including songbirds, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other species.

A definition for livestock has also been added, and includes cows, swine, poultry, horses, sheep, goats, fur bearing animals raised in captivity, and other species.

Marlow, who enjoys Mount Pearl’s Dog Park, doesn’t seem to be worried about the City’s animal amendments. Mark Squibb Photo

Marlow, who enjoys Mount Pearl’s Dog Park, doesn’t seem to be worried about the City’s animal amendments. Mark Squibb Photo

The amendments include a new clause, which makes the City’s position on the raising of farm animals quite clear.

“No person shall keep, or permit to be kept, any livestock on any land or in any building or part thereof,” the amendments read. “The owner will be responsible for the removal, adoption or rehoming of any livestock or other animal which is determined to be in contravention of these Regulations.”

The changes raised some discussion among councillors.

“So, based on the regulations, both as they exist and as they are to be changed, livestock of any kind is not permitted in the City of Mount Pearl, unless it can somehow be considered as a domestic pet?” asked councillor Andrew Ledwell.

“If it falls underneath the definition of a domestic pets, it’s okay,” said director of community development Jason Collins.

So, what defines a pet or livestock?

Well, according to the newly minted definitions, a domesticated animal, be it a cat, dog, or other species, lives in your home for your pleasure and companionship. Much of it seems to be centered around where the animal lays its head at night.

“A pet is an animal that is confined to the home. It’s not out in the barn, or out in the shed. That’s the difference,” said councillor Lucy Stoyles.

“Well said,” agreed Mayor Dave Aker.

The amendments also address how the City deals with injured animals. Previously, city inspectors could euthanize a seriously injured or diseased animal if, in the opinion of the inspector, the animal could not be relieved. Also, under the previous Act, an animal in such distress that it could not be relieved of the distress without suffering, could be euthanized even without a vet or inspector on the scene. Under the new amendments, all injured animals will be taken to a vet to determine the extent of its injuries.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the regulation that a person is not permitted to own any more than five animals, a rule which some councillors were surprised to learn existed. And, as always has been the case, all animals are to be registered with the City.

Posted on July 31, 2019 .