Town to allow pony rides and petting zoos during events in most parks



Town Logo Small-webBy Ron Giofu


While pony rides and petting zoos have been common in parks in Amherstburg during festival and events, the town has changed the procedure for how they are approved.

Town council approved an amendment to its relief from parks bylaw and allowing pony rides and petting zoos during festivals and events. Previously, special permission had to come directly from council for each event.

King’s Navy Yard Park is excluded from the bylaw with no petting zoos or pony rides to be planned for that waterfront park.

“The public events committee has been reviewing numerous event submissions from local groups and organizations. A few of the event organizers have indicated they would like to offer petting zoos and pony rides for the children who attend their events in the Town of Amherstburg parks,” executive assistant to the CAO Nicole Rubli stated in a report to town council. “The current parks bylaw prohibits animals to be led, rode or off leash in the confines of town-owned parks unless council grants permission.”

Councillor Bart DiPasquale asked if it was only for a one-year period, but Rubli told him the bylaw would authorize the public events committee on these two items beyond that. Councillor Diane Pouget said she preferred only having it for a one-year period so it could be reviewed when the new council takes over in December.

“We do have a great public events committee but things could change down the road,” said Pouget.

Rubli noted that prospective events are checked over by the public events committee and that all event proposals have to go through a checks and balances procedure before becoming approved. Mayor Wayne Hurst said that is done to avoid each event request from having to come to council.

Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland noted that if any problems arose from having pony rides or petting zoos in parks during events, the bylaw could be revisited at any time.

Deputy Clerk Paula Parker added that events for 2015 would be approved by the end of 2014 as the public events committee is trying to be proactive.

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