TRURO – Town council has passed the first reading of an exotic animals bylaw.
Council discussed the topic on Monday, believing there needs to be specific laws in place to deal with exotic pets, which were defined by the town’s solicitor as any animal that is not a dog, cat or livestock.
Solicitor John Rafferty told council under the proposed bylaw, exotic animals would be allowed in the owner’s home but “must be in an escape-proof enclosure” if outside.
Provisions would be in place to deal with pet owners who do not adhere to the bylaw, said Rafferty, including giving staff authority to seize the pet, without notice.
Also, if it’s believed “a person or property is threatened” by the animal, staff would have authority to destroy or try to adopt out the pet.
If an exotic pet is seized, the owner would have seven days to retrieve it after “showing cause” why it shouldn’t be destroyed or adopted.
Rafferty said the bylaw would also include fines, including monetary fines between $100 and $1,000 and possible imprisonment of six months.
Councillors unanimously voted to continue with a second reading of the bylaw at the regular July town council meeting. If it’s approved, it will then officially become a bylaw.
“I’m getting a lot of calls and complaints,” about exotic pets in Truro, said Coun. Cheryl Fritz. “A lot of people are scared of some of these exotic pets, and spiders too.”
“Other cities are adopting” such bylaws, added Coun. Raymond Tynes.