Canada’s weirdest laws: it’s illegal to sell dyed chicks in Nova Scotia

The Baby Chick Protection Act has raised more than a few eyebrows in the province.
The Baby Chick Protection Act has raised more than a few eyebrows in the province. (Photo:REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

In Nova Scotia, puppies, kittens and bunnies do not have the special protection afforded to baby chicks.

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The province values its baby chicks so much, it actually made it illegal to sell, display, or give away a baby chick that has been artificially coloured.

The province even passed an entire act (!) to make it clear that they mean business: “Every person who displays, sells, barters, gives or offers to sell, barter or give a living chicken under two months of age that has been dyed, coloured or otherwise treated so as to impart to it an artificial colour is guilty of an offence. . .”

The Baby Chick Protection Act raised more than a few eyebrows, including that of a Summerside, Prince Edward Island city official:

What could possibly prompt the Nova Scotia legislature to pass an act devoted to the ban of selling artificially coloured chicks?

It seems that dyeing baby chicks is something of an Easter tradition for some, especially in the United States, which is why the practice is actually banned in quite a few states. It’s unclear why people are not just satisfied with colouring eggs during Easter and have to dye a live animal but there you have it.

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However, no matter how much Nova Scotians yearn to display their baby chicks in their “coats of many colours” during Easter, if they contravene the act, they will face a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment of no more than thirty days, or both.

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