Pigeon Licensing Information

Pigeon Licensing

Pigeon keeping is a long-established hobby in Calgary. The City of Calgary provides regulation and licensing for keeping urban pigeons under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

Application requirements


Applicants will need to go through The City of Calgary’s pre-application enquiry file process prior to building their pigeon loft, unless you owned pigeons prior to January 1, 2022.

To obtain a pre-application enquiry file number from The City of Calgary Planning and Development, call 403-268-5311 and ask for the pre-application enquiry to be created. You will need the following information:

  • Your address (where the pigeon loft will be located)
  • Size of proposed structure you may build for your pigeons (total area, heights, if the floor will be elevated from grade)
  • Approximate location of where the structure will be located
  • A site plan and details of any housing needed for pigeons (a simple overhead view/drawing of where your pigeon loft will be placed in relation to other buildings/fences/neighbours)

Once you have the file number, you must keep it on hand as it is required throughout the application process.

With the file number, pigeon licence applicants can begin building their loft prior to their receiving licence application approval.

If you change your address, you must apply for a new pre-application enquiry file number.

Learn more about Planning and Development requirements for home improvements.

Criteria

  • You must be over 18 years to apply for a pigeon keeping license. If under 18, a parent or guardian must apply on your behalf.
  • You must contact Planning and Development to get a pre-application enquiry file number.
  • You must be the owner of the property or have secured written permission from the property owner, as a requirement for approval of your licence for pigeon-keeping.
  • You must have current membership in either the Canadian Pigeon Fanciers’ Association Inc./Association Canadienne du Pigeon de Fantasie Inc. or the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union.
  • You will need to acquire a free Premise Identification (PID) number from the Government of Alberta.
  • Pigeons must not be acquired before your licence is approved.

Association membership

There is no formal training available for pigeon keeping, but membership to one of two pigeon associations is required to obtain your licence:

  • Canadian Pigeon Fanciers’ Association Inc./Association Canadienne du Pigeon de Fantasie Inc.
  • Canadian Racing Pigeon Union

Association membership allows pigeon keepers to be connected to the broader pigeon keeping community to receive information they need and access mentoring as needed. This would include accessing information on pigeon health and avian flu as well. 

Documentation

Please have the following prepared before you begin your application:

  • A pre-application enquiry number issued by Planning and Development (403-268-5311) only if you acquired your pigeons after January 1, 2022.
  • A site plan and details of any housing needed for pigeons OR proof that you kept pigeons prior to January 1, 2022. Proof can include your membership to the Canadian Pigeon Fanciers’ Association Inc./Association Canadienne du Pigeon de Fantasie Inc. or the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union dated prior to January 1, 2022, or receipts proving you owned pigeons prior to January 1, 2022.
    • A site plan is a simple overhead view/drawing of where your pigeon loft is/will be placed in relation to other buildings/fences/neighbours.
  • Proof of ownership of the property where the pigeons are being kept or proof of consent of the property’s owner.
  • The maximum number of pigeons you expect to have on your property during the year.
  • A signed declaration form that you can download here.

You may proceed with the application once you have all the above documentation in place. You will need to upload any supporting documents listed above onto your application.

Regulation


Urban pigeon licensing is regulated under part 4 of the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

Site inspections will be conducted on a number of randomly selected applicant sites to ensure housing criteria is met.

Licence or permit holders must:

  • Have proof of ownership of the property where the livestock is kept (or proof of consent of the property’s owner).
  • Keep all housing consistent with what was approved in the application for the licence (and in good repair).
  • Not fly more than 30 pigeons at a time and must not fly pigeons that have been fed within two hours prior to flying, unless exempt from this requirement by The City of Calgary (exempt permission will be granted where the requirement is not reasonable due to the type of species of pigeon being kept under the licence).
  • Maintain membership in good standing of either the Canadian Pigeon Fanciers’ Association Inc./Association Canadienne du Pigeon de Fantaisie Inc. or the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Incorporated, and must band all pigeons kept under the licence with a seamless Club or Association band on their legs.
  • A licence holder may not slaughter a pigeon, but may take pigeons to be euthanized by a licenced veterinarian or to be slaughtered at a licensed slaughterhouse in the city limits.
  • Must notify The City of Calgary if the pigeons are being relocated or moved and must agree to an inspection of any new location.

Urban pigeon licensing ensures proper housing and care conditions are met for pigeons, and that any neighbouring concerns are addressed. Report concerns or direct questions to 311.

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