MAY 30 LETTER: Good idea, but chickens will attract bears to town

A news story coming out of the Lower Mainland the other day may be of interest to Greenwood councillors.

Editor, The Times

A news story coming out of the Lower Mainland the other day may be of interest to Greenwood councillors as they consider whether or not to allow chickens within city limits.

Apparently chickens are bear attractants. An owner in a chicken-friendly community lost most of their birds when a bear ripped the pen apart. The CO who was interviewed said that though it’s legal to keep chickens, the pen in which they’re housed must be strong enough to withstand a bear’s best effort to get into it.

That may keep the chickens safe but it seems to me that bears are attracted by odour, not the relative strength or weakness of the container holding the odour-emitting item, so they’ll probably still be drawn into the city.

Personally, I’m not concerned about bears; living this close to nature is one of the reasons I moved here. I’m more concerned about some of our less than sensible citizens being given an excuse to discharge a firearm within city limits, though the not infrequent sound of gunshots in town suggests that there are people here who don’t seem to need an excuse to do that. If I’m not wrong, doing so contravenes one of our unenforceable bylaws.

And it isn’t just bears that chicken owners will have to guard against, some of our bylaw-ignoring, free-running dogs are likely to try and get at them as well, when they aren’t busy crapping in my back yard.

Before moving here I had heard some colourful stories about some of the less than legal activities which occasionally occurred in Greenwood, and I have to admit that I liked the idea of living in a place where people’s behaviour was governed more by common sense and respect for their neighbours than by arbitrary and often pointless laws.

I may have been naive. Some people have a disturbing lack of common sense and respect.

I do like the idea of chickens in town though.

Curtis Chamberlain, Greenwood

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