City of Vincent: request made by 7-year-old girl to be allowed to keep chickens

Deborah Karajas with her daughters Jemima and Saskia, who want to own chooks, but can't because they live within the “poultry exclusion zone” of the City of Vincent.
Map outlining City of Vincent's poultry exclusion zone.
Deborah Karajas with her daughters Jemima and Saskia, who want to own chooks, but can't because they live within the “poultry exclusion zone” of the City of Vincent. Map outlining City of Vincent's poultry exclusion zone.

WEARING a tiara, Perth resident Saskia Karajas (7) approached the City of Vincent council to ask for permission to own a couple of chooks.

Saskia was speaking on behalf of her sister Jemima (4), who wrote a letter to “the government” with the request and presented it at the October council meeting.

“My sister wrote a letter to the government to change the rule because we can’t have chicken or ducks in the backyard,” she said.

According to the City’s Poultry Guidelines, the Karajas family’s Summers Street home falls just within the borders of the “poultry exclusion zone”, which is the majority of the South Ward.

In the areas of the City where poultry is permitted, they must be 15m from a house, public building, or where food is storied, kept overnight in a securely fastened enclosure, and no more than 12 poultry and pigeons may be kept.

Roosters are restricted form all properties.

Speaking to the Guardian Express, Jemima said she first asked her mum to have a couple of chooks, but was told they could not.

“We want to have chickens, I want them as pets and collect the eggs,” she said.

“We would have them out the back, one or two so it has a friend.”

Mayor John Carey said the City was reviewing its Local Laws, which included the poultry guidelines.

He praised Saskia and Jemima for attending the meeting and engaging in local government at such a young age, and complimented Saskia on her tiara at the meeting.

The Prohibited Area includes:

(a) that portion of the district bounded –

i. to the east by Richmond Street to Loftus Street, Loftus Street to Vincent Street as far as Beaufort Street, Beaufort Street to Walcott Street and Walcott Street to the railway;

ii. to the east by the railway to Summers Street, and then to Lord Street;

iii. to the south by Lord Street, to Parry Street, Parry Street to Lindsay Street, Lindsay Street to Newcastle Street, Newcastle Street to Loftus Street and Loftus Street to the Mitchell Freeway (See attached Map); and

(b) all land classified/zoned for commercial and retail use as defined in the District City

* City of Vincent Health Local Law 2004, Division 4