Animal Control Bylaw

New livestock bylaw update

Strathcona County continues work to finalize a new Responsible Livestock Ownership bylaw that will replace the current Animal Control and Apiculture bylaws. 

Additional public engagement is being planned before the proposed bylaw goes to Council for approval in spring/summer 2022. 

Visit the public engagement reporting page for summaries of the resident feedback collected to date. 

Last modified: Jan. 5, 2022, 8:33 a.m.

About the Animal Control Bylaw

Animal Control Bylaw 18-2011 (564.1 KB) currently regulates the ownership of domesticated livestock and poultry species within the County. One of the many reasons for the Animal Control Bylaw is to protect the environment, property and to ensure public health.

If you live in a rural setting

Strathcona County boasts a large country residential, and small holdings areas in which to raise livestock within the current regulations. People who would like to raise livestock are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities in these designated areas.

If you live in an urban setting

Over the past few years there has been a trend in North America towards introducing livestock into urban centres for a multitude of reasons including food production, companionship, therapeutic use or business ventures. In Strathcona County, urban livestock is currently not permitted in urban centres.

Updating the Animal Control Bylaw

A review of the Animal Control Bylaw began in 2016 as part of the Urban Agriculture Strategy development. The process has included extensive research, expert consultation and public input.

Next steps

The next steps in finalizing the proposed draft Responsible Livestock Ownership bylaw:

  • Finalizing a proposed new responsible livestock ownership bylaw to replace the animal control and apiculture (honeybee) bylaws.
  • Review amendments with Legislative and Legal Services.
  • Bring Council a proposed new bylaw to replace the Animal Control Bylaw and Apiculture Bylaw - anticipated in Q2 2021.
  • Create process and forms.
  • Communicate changes to the bylaw.
  • Implement changes to the bylaw. The bylaw is anticipated to come into effect six to eight months after the bylaw is approved.

What are the proposed bylaw changes?

It is too early to outline the proposed bylaw as we are still conducting public engagement. However, we did present draft recommendations to Council on December 10, for further direction. You can watch the presentation and see the early recommendations.

Overall, a proposed new Responsible Livestock Ownership Bylaw will address resident needs while protecting health, safety, the environment and economy. A focus on responsible livestock ownership will minimize disease risk, and support animal welfare, land stewardship and opportunities for agriculture, while balancing the expectations of rural living, neighbour relations and community.

Considerations informing the proposed new bylaw will include:  

  • Resident feedback  
  • Legislative requirements  
  • Land stewardship  
  • Public health  
  • Animal health  
  • Disease risk  
  • Food security  
  • Commercial producers and access to markets  
  • Municipal obligations under provincial legislation  


July 20, 2021 – Draft Responsible Livestock Ownership bylaw presented to Council for approval. Administration requested to complete additional work, including gathering resident feedback on the proposed bylaw.  

January 26, 2021 – Results of rural resident engagement presented to Council.  

July/August/October  2020 – Rural resident engagement via survey and focus groups. Rural residents, including acreage owners and large and small agriculture producers provided input specific to livestock types and amounts, specifically on smaller rural properties.   

December 10, 2019 – The County presented recommendations to Council for a responsible livestock ownership bylaw to replace the Animal Control Bylaw. 

April 2019 – Strathcona County checked back with residents through a SCOOP opinion poll on a proposed change to include an exemption permit process for livestock in urban areas.

November 13, 2018 – Draft recommendations for amendments to the Animal Control Bylaw were presented to Council at a Priorities Committee Meeting.

  • Based on discussion at the meeting, it was determined that additional considerations were required and the entire bylaw should be revisited.

May 2017 - Strathcona County completed a review of local impacts of an urban chicken pilot program and determined it is not suitable for the needs of our specialized community.

  • Following this review, the County examined feasibility of a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw, involving significant research.
  • At the time, it was determined that amendments could be made to the Animal Control Bylaw, rather than developing a new bylaw.

November 29, 2016 - Strathcona County presented the final Urban Agriculture Strategy to Council for debate and approval.

  • Resident feedback informed the recommendations on urban livestock, including the decision to develop a responsible livestock bylaw.  
  • A summary of engagement can be found in the strategy.
  • One of the actions recommended in the strategy was to review the Animal Control Bylaw and to review whether chickens should be allowed in urban areas.

Further information:

Last updated: Wednesday, January 05, 2022
Page ID: 44807