By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The Town of Castor has amended their Animal Control Bylaw.
The revisions make some clarifications on the bylaw, defining humane traps and their uses, stray animals, and more, as well as allowing the Town to capture and fine the owners of animals that wander into town from the country. The biggest change to the bylaw is that Town bylaw officers may now pursue an animal onto private property.
“The revisions aren’t changing the way we enforce the bylaw, they are just making it so we can enforce it all,” said Town of Castor CAO Christopher Robblee.
“We can amend the bylaw as long as it stays true to the spirit of the original bylaw.”
Part 8 of the bylaw has been renamed ‘Humane Traps’ and it sets the types of traps that are allowed to be used in Town, the training required to use them, and the fact that residents must have the Town’s written permission to use humane traps to capture stray animals.
The section also describes weather conditions that the traps are allowed to be used in, that the person using the trap has adequate food and water for any trapped animal, and that a person must be nearby during all times that the trap is in use.
After an issue with animals escaping their residences in the County and coming into Town, the bylaw now allows for the capture of stray animals from both in and outside of Town and allows the Town to keep the animal until the fine is paid.
Previously, the Town was able to fine and hold animals from within Castor, however there was no mechanism in place to allow for the holding and fining of (owners) from outside of the Town borders.
The biggest revision to the Animal Control Bylaw in Castor is the ability to pursue stray animals onto private property.
Previously, if a bylaw enforcement officer was chasing a stray animal and it returned to its home, the bylaw enforcement officer could not capture the animal or fine the owner.
With the revision, the wording has changed so that the bylaw officer may, “Enter onto lands surrounding any building, including the owner’s land, in pursuit of an animal while it is at large.”
This means that if an officer begins chasing a stray animal which then returns home, the owner can be fined.
The revisions to the Animal Control Bylaw were passed during the June 10th meeting of Castor Council.