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Halton to get a Little More Wild? Exotic Animals Coming to Your Backyard.

We all saw the Tiger King, the story of Joe Exotic and his minions. While it seems that his story and Netflix documentary may have just inspired Halton District’s Chief Officer of Back Yard Development to take a trip on the wild side.

April Bol-Schimdt, Halton’s current Director of Backyard Development earned their stripes first as the Director of Front Lawns. Later she would to move up the pecking order to Executive Director of Neighbourhood Fences. After working for the Region for nearly 20 years she took the Office of the Chief Backyard Development Officer (CBDO).

“Backyards are not only part of our home, but a part of our community. I have a passion for making sure others backyards are as inviting as their front”.

“And what could be more inviting than a zoo?” added Bol-Schmidt.

“This is 2021” said Bol-Schmidt. “We all have hopefully learned not to body shame. Having a lion or tiger or bear, oh my, is no worse than having a tabby cat or a teddy bear. The only real difference is their body size and eating habits, and they should not be discriminated because of it”.

This new bylaw from Halton District would over-ride such by-laws from municipalities like by-law ’94-077’ known as “the responsible pet owners bylaw for Halton Hills”.

“We have seen how COVID-19 has limited people from going places, like the zoo. Wouldn’t it be better if we could bring the zoo to us?”

Bol-Schmidt also cites sustainability as a cause for the new bylaw stating…

“Global warming and climate change have had a severe impact on our planet, not only leading to the migration of animals, but also the outright extinction of some. We must learn to be able to live with the animals, and where better to do that than our own backyard. Not only will this help us be one with the animals, but it will also cut down on emissions of people traveling to and from the zoo and conservation areas.”

Though not all residents are happy, Sally Simon, Halton Hills resident says “this is ridiculous, am I in the twilight zone? Halton Hills has spent over a year deciding whether or not we could have backyard chickens, and now before we even get the approval we are being told we could have lions or tigers or bears, oh my”.

Other residents have also stated objections on things like fence height and safety, but the CBDO says these things will easily be accommodated for.

“We've already thought of this with our 'sustainable fencing plan'. Everyone’s backyard fence will be made one metre higher and reinforced, which will help accommodate for larger animals like giraffes and elephants. This will come at a very small and easily affordable 2 percent tax increase for all citizens of Halton District. A very small price to pay for us to be one with our animal counterparts. Very small. Maybe the smallest... Plus I don’t even think we will even need the fence, what person or animal would want to leave this community?”

(example of Halton District's new "sustainable fencing")

Halton District’s communication and marketing team have already started changing Town’s slogans to reflect their new attitude towards our furry friends. Among the changes, Halton Hills’ “Small Town Living at its Best” will be changed to “Furry living at its best”, and Oakville’s “The most liveable town in Canada” will be changed to “The wildest town in Canada”.

The new by-law is set to go into effect today at 12 p.m. Be sure to check back then for the full breakdown.

UPdate: 12:04, April 1, 2020

APRIL FOOLS! However the Town of Halton Hills Council is really debating chickens. You can find that article here.


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