Strathcona County position and next steps on enforcing Animal Control Bylaw 18-2011

August 14, 2014

Strathcona County establishes bylaws for the safety, health and welfare of people and the protection of people and property. Bylaws are created in good faith and in the public interest. In addition to establishing bylaws, the County must enforce the bylaws when they are not followed.

When the County became aware in March 2014 that a pot-belly pig (Eli) was living in Sherwood Park, the owner was informed she was in contravention of Animal Control Bylaw 18-2011. The County worked with the owner to find a suitable home for the pig. Despite the County’s efforts, including a three-week grace period to relocate the pig, the owner did not co-operate. On June 24, 2014, the County issued a Violation Ticket under the Bylaw. On August 11, 2014 the pig’s owner entered a not-guilty plea in Provincial Court. A trial date for the Violation Ticket has been set for November 17, 2014.

Issuing a Violation Ticket is one remedy available to the County to enforce its bylaws. The Provincial Court trial set for November 17, 2014 will address the fine payment, and may not directly address the relocation of the pig. 

Another remedy in enforcing the bylaw is for the County to make an application to the Court of Queen's Bench for an Order requiring the pig to be relocated. This remedy is being pursued in parallel with the Violation Ticket proceedings. There is an appearance scheduled for August 28, 2014, at which point the County anticipates a court date will be set for early 2015, for the application to be heard before the Court of Queen's Bench.

Strathcona County continues to be hopeful the pig’s owner will choose to comply with the bylaw by voluntarily relocating the pig prior to the Court proceedings.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of more than 92,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

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Ian Gray, Director, Transportation and Agriculture Services