Planning to breed a number of rabbits? You is likely to be the goal of a Metropolis of Toronto crackdown

For those who’re pondering of breeding rabbits and guinea pigs, or feeding wild animals, otherwise you’re only a canine proprietor who scoops your pooch’s poop each day, then you definitely’ll need to find out about a new algorithm the Metropolis of Toronto is contemplating.

After two years of research, municipal licensing employees are recommending sweeping adjustments to elements of the municipal code that concern animals. Getting particular consideration: the variety of fast-breeding pets you may be allowed to maintain.

“Some folks do not know if they have girls and boys and when girls and boys are collectively, then you find yourself with many extra,” mentioned Esther Attard, the director of Toronto Animal Providers (TAS). She’s additionally one of many contributors to a brand new report. 


“Guinea pigs and rabbits reproduce actually shortly, and so you possibly can find yourself with so much … extra pets than you bargained for.”

The instructed adjustments are primarily based on proposals from metropolis councillors, the general public and metropolis employees, Attard mentioned. Councillors will take their first take a look at the proposals when the group growth committee meets subsequent month. Council will seemingly maintain a closing vote on the plan by the top of the yr.

Attard says animals like rabbits can shortly produce sufficient offspring to overwhelm a median pet proprietor. She cites the case of 1 Toronto family that noticed its rabbit inhabitants develop from a handful to greater than 80 in a matter of months. (Mike Smee/CBC)

Metropolis employees are recommending every family be restricted to 4 rabbits, or 4 guinea pigs. Why? Attard cites the instance of 1 Toronto household who determined earlier this yr to breed rabbits and promote them as pets. 


“It is so much more durable to do than you suppose,” she mentioned. “And so then they find yourself in a disaster.”

What disaster is Attard referring to? Nicely, finally, their house was overrun with 80 rabbits.


Haviva Porter, govt director of a bunch known as Rabbit Rescue Inc., helps the bounds. She says she hears related tales to the one Attard described on a regular basis.

“They thought they had been the identical gender, and rapidly, behold, there are a dozen child bunnies,” she mentioned.


“Nothing will be carried out after you have a family with so many animals, so many rabbits that are not being sorted correctly. So limits are vital.” 

One other proposal would restrict pigeon fanciers to 30 birds, besides throughout breeding season, once they’ll be allowed 50.

Haviva Porter, govt director of Rabbit Rescue Inc., says she’s in favour of limits on fast-breeding pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. (Submitted by Haviva Porter)

There’s additionally a proposal for a blanket ban on the feeding of wildlife. Proper now, it is solely unlawful to feed wild animals in metropolis parks. The brand new guidelines will disallow the follow city-wide.

Final weekend, in Westlake Park, close to Weston Highway and Black Creek Drive, a coyote bit a baby, prompting town to warn residents to not feed wild animals — a follow Attard says results in a number of issues..

“It situations wild animals to count on meals from folks. After which an individual can have a nasty interplay with a wild animal.”

As nicely, employees are suggesting town codify a follow that has lengthy been tacitly allowed: pet cats and pigeons roaming town freely.

A coyote walks previous a playground in Alberta final yr. One of many new proposals would make it unlawful for the pubic to feed wild animals wherever within the metropolis as a manner of slicing down on interactions with people. (Scott Sugden/College of Alberta)

However as soon as that turns into regulation, town can even require that metropolis shelters cease accepting stray, nuisance cats. At current, felines that roam will be dropped off on the native metropolis shelter by aggravated neighbours. It is then as much as TAS to attempt to reunite the animal with its proprietor, which is usually a lengthy, difficult and typically fruitless activity, she mentioned.

Though she’s typically supportive of the adjustments, Rabbit Rescue Inc.’s Porter says she’s acquired some questions for councillors earlier than the brand new guidelines are handed.

“What would occur in conditions the place actually good homeowners have six rabbits? Are they going to be grandfathered in? Would they should do away with the rabbits when shelters or rescues are already full?” she mentioned.

“I believe there’s a number of concern that foster houses be exempt. Will shelters, pet shops be exempt? Who’s going to be monitoring it and who’s going to be implementing it?”

The Municipal Licensing and Requirements report features a advice that three new bylaw officers be employed at a value of $347,000 a yr.

One of many new guidelines would bar folks from dropping off neighbourhood strays, so-called nuisance cats, like this one on the metropolis’s animal shelter on Progress Avenue in Scarborough. (Sue Goodspeed/CBC )

However Attard says she expects enforcement to be carried out in a measured manner. As an example, she says folks will not be banned from utilizing yard chicken feeders offered extra feed would not spill over onto the bottom the place different animals, like rats, can get at it.

However she admits that enforcement might be tough, in the case of figuring out particular person chicken feeders. 

A number of different adjustments to the municipal code are additionally included within the report: Proper now, canine homeowners should take away excrement from their very own property instantly. The report recommends that giving them 24 hours to get the job carried out is “a extra practical timeframe.”

The report additionally suggests pledging assist for any transfer by the province to ban beauty surgical procedures for pets — issues like tail docking and ear cropping for canines and declawing cats, Attard mentioned.

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