After hours of debate over multiple weeks Bracebridge councillors appear to have reached a temporary solution on a request for an exotic animal exemption.
On Wednesday council voted to allow Amanda’s Exotic Animals to run educational shows at Santa’s Village this summer. Amanda Foley, the owner of Amanda’s Exotic Animals, had originally intended to move her business back to her hometown of Bracebridge, but during a presentation at the council meeting she said no loner intends to house the animals within the municipality. She will bring the animals in for the shows and then transport them back to their current residence outside the municipality.
“I was never asking to change any bylaws,” Foley told council. “I’m here to work with council and I’m willing to revise my business plan.”
Foley said her goals is to complete a series of education shows, running at Santa’s Village until November, wherein the public can learn about animal care, conservation, disease risks and a range of other issues.
“I’m extemely passionate about animal welfare and I want to see animals thrive,” she said. “Reptiles are highly stigmatized. Stigma is the enemy, not the animal.”
The motion allows Foley to bring her animals into Bracebridge for the shows only and came with a long list of conditions.
The matter was debated at length by council, with Coun. Mcurray voting against after stating her ongoing concerns for public safety.
Coun. Debbie Vernon also voted against, saying that the Town should allow more time to facilitate input from reptile experts.
The remainder of council voted in favour of the exemption.
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