Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Toronto and it's arcane animal by-laws

The news out of NB about the two boys being killed by an escaped constrictor is disheartening and senseless.  Quite rightly, animal regulations have come back to the forefront of discussion.

Living in Toronto, I think its high time someone took a good look at the City's laws here, because they are daft to say the least. 

In Toronto, we have this municipal code (source http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_349.pdf), which states what you can and cannot have.  Whilst it quite rightly blankets out the keeping of anything poisonous or venomous, it's bans you from keeping harmless things like ducks, chickens, ponies, etc, whilst leaving some pretty epic holes.

It clearly states on it that you can't have chickens ("Galliformes"), but you can have a non-poisonous snake as long as it's under 3 metres - That's 9 feet long…Toronto's rules say you can't keep elephants ("Proboscidae")… but a Rhinoceros ("Rhinocerotidae") is fine as that's not on the list.   Hares ("Lagomorpha") are banned, but Manatees ("Trichechidae") seem to be fine.   You're not allowed ducks in a pond, but you can keep a great white shark ("Lamnidae") in a pond.  You can't keep a horse or donkey in Toronto, but a hippopotamus ("Hippopotamidae") seems to be perfectly ok.

Hopefully, Toronto takes a look at this with new eyes, especially given the news right now. 

On a lighter note: If they ever bring back the Tyrannosaurus Rex, you'll be able to keep those in Toronto, too, as they're missing from the banned list.