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Vote on Nova’s Ark exemption request on January 29

Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy has announced that discussions on Nova’s Ark requests for bylaw exemption, will continue in January.

Nova’s Ark is a registered charity based in Whitby that provides programs for people of all abilities, including animal-assisted therapy. According to a May 2023 inventory provided by Nova’s Ark, there are 355 animals on site, 74 of which violate the town’s Prohibited and Regulated Animals Bylaw, including wolves, pythons, a lynx, serval, and bobcat.

Council is expected to vote on the exemption request at its meeting on January 29, Mayor Roy said in her January newsletter.

At the December 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, several delegations were heard related to a request from Nova’s Ark for an exemption from the Town of Whitby’s Prohibited and Regulated Animals Bylaw.

Due to the volume of delegations, the committee voted to end the meeting at 11 pm and resume delegations on this issue at the January 8 Committee of the Whole meeting.

After consulting with industry professionals, considering public submissions, and reviewing emergency procedures and response plans from Nova’s Ark, town staff are recommending that the bylaw exemption not be granted to permit the keeping of the 74 prohibited animals. This recommendation only impacts the keeping of prohibited animals, not the ongoing operation of Nova’s Ark.

No intention to euthanize prohibited Nova’s Ark animals, if removed: Roy

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