The purpose of this law is to regulate pets and potentially dangerous domestic animals on Cheam Reserve Lands to protect members, visitors and property and to make sure everyone can enjoy their pets.
Cheam First Nation has authority under the Cheam Land Code to pass laws including laws relating to pets and animals. The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) has jurisdictional responsibilities for dog licensing for municipal and town areas within the FVRD area and they have worked out an agreement with other First Nations for dog licensing and animal control. We would like to have a similar agreement with the FVRD.
This is intended to be passed as an urgent law under subsections 3.8 and 3.9 of the Land Code to deal with urgent matters for up to 90 days after which Council may pass the law as a regular law.
In the Cheam First Nation Land Code, subsections 3.8 to 3.10 state the following:
- Council may enact a Law without the preliminary steps required [in subsections 3.1 to 3.7] if Council, acting reasonably, believes that the Law is required urgently to protect Cheam Reserve Lands or Members.
- A law enacted under Section 3.8 will [be] deemed to have been repealed and to have no force and effect 90 days after its enactment, but may be re-enacted in whole or as amended in accordance with subsections 3.1 to 3.7 and 3.10.
- A Law is enacted when approved by Council Resolution after Council has complied with subsections 3.1-3.7 above, or for urgent matters, subsection 3.8.
SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS IN DRAFT LAW
• Applies to all residents, not only members.
• Limits number of pets to five (5) in total or a lesser number set by Council regulation or housing policies or agreements.
• If a person has more than 5 pets prior to this law coming into effect, they can keep them but can’t replace them once the pets pass away except up to a total of 5 pets.
• No harmful pit bulls or exotic or poisonous animals are allowed.
• Dog Licenses are not required yet but may be required in the future once a process is in place.
• Owners are required to prevent dogs from barking for 15 minutes or more at any time and from trespassing on the property of others.
• An aggressive, at large, unlicensed, or dangerous dog can be impounded and the owner will have to pay a fee to recover the dog.
• Sets out best practices for keeping a safe and healthy animal, such as clean water, exercise, and food.
If this law is passed as an urgent law, it will be in force for up to 90 days. We would still welcome any questions or comments about the draft law. Once this is posted as a regular (non-urgent) draft law, there will be 30 days for Members to provide comments to Chief and Council.
The Committee, Chief, and Council have reviewed and revised the draft law, along with legal counsel, and recommend it to the Community.