Township of Langley Mayor and Council please allow Urban/Backyard Chickens

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Most recently fresh eggs have been scarce in Township stores, and underlines the need for backyard chickens and their integral part/value in our food security.

Chickens have existed in cities since the dawn of time, and they still exist all over the world. The bylaws have been changed in surrounding cities like Vancouver and Surrey, to allow keeping up to 6 hens in the backyard. However, in Langley it is currently not allowed, and if you have even one hen you are in contravention of the existing bylaw.

Benefits of allowing backyard chickens in Langley:
1. Fresh, healthy, delicious eggs, free of pesticides and antibiotics.
2. Chickens eat table scraps, reducing the cost of handling municipal organic waste, as well as lowering our carbon footprint.
3. Chickens produce a rich fertilizer by-product, high in nitrogen, eliminating the need for petrochemical fertilizers, which will help protect the purity of our precious water supply, which is drawn from local underground aquifers.
4. Educational - teaches children where our food comes from and demonstrates responsible pet ownership (chores).
5. Great pets - chickens are people-friendly.
6. Chickens eat bugs, reducing our backyard pest population.

Backyard chickens support the Langley Sustainability Charter by:
• celebrating our heritage by promoting awareness of heritage values
• helps us prepare for emergencies and disasters by providing reliable local food sources and food sovereignty
• fosters a preventative approach to personal and community safety by providing an educational and wholesome leisure activity
• nurtures a mindset of sustainability by incorporating a sustainability mentality into the community
• reduces air pollution, and protects our underground water supply
• respects our rural character and rural heritage
• recognizes the rural character as an essential community feature
• promotes stewardship by establishing and strengthening stewardship partnerships
• practices the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle

Backyard hens reduce the amount of waste that goes into our green bins.
They will eat many pests, insects, small rodents, as well garden and table scraps.
We enrich the soil and our environment by composting their waste on site. This in turn reduces our carbon footprint. Fewer trips to the dump site = reduced
fuel consumption and reduced costs to the taxpayer.

Township of Langley promotes farming in Langley as part of its Agricultural Viability Strategy. Backyard hens are a logical adjunct to Langley's push for local food production and food sovereignty.

If Vancouver can successfully allow backyard hens with its tiny lot sizes and large urban density, then Langley should be able to as well.

Numerous families would like to raise backyard chickens in Langley! We, the undersigned, urge Langley Township Mayor and Council, to update the Langley Municipal Code in order to permit the responsible raising of backyard chickens.