Alice Sanctuary, a farm animal sanctuary in Wheatland County, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has had its permit application to keep operating denied. The sanctuary, which has been operating at its present location for close to seven years, cares for approximately 200 animals, such as pigs, horses, cows, sheeps, chickens, and ducks.
Recent complaints about parking and traffic caused by volunteers and visitors led to an application for a business permit, but on 14th March 2023, the county’s development board denied the application and added a clause preventing her from having volunteers on site. The reasons the council explained for the decision are: “The operation does not fall into the category of a business; the Sanctuary has been operating for many years without approval of the Development Authority and was continuing to grow; the development permit application had been made due to complaints received and it is likely there will be more issues if the permit is approved; the increase in traffic to the site has a negative impact on adjacent landowners; tours and volunteers visiting the site adversely affect the neighbours; tour groups and volunteers are not compatible with adjacent land uses.”
Jeannette Madill, Alice Sanctuary founder, said to the Calgary CTV News: “It was very discouraging to see that, you know, we do things in such an incredible, caring way, you know, providing that type of care for our residents out here and the farmland, the infrastructure … all of that is being taken care of…To say to us that we no longer can do that, (that) nobody’s allowed to be out here to help us do that, to maintain the site, that’s actually quite destructive.”
Jann Arden, singer and animal-rights advocate who had volunteered at the sanctuary, said: “I love animals and have made many visits out to the Alice Sanctuary and taken people out there just to hang out with the residents and spend some very fun afternoons with the animals. It’s an absolute shame that they haven’t granted all of us at the sanctuary the two years to show the community that we are going to do things and continue to do things in a way that makes everybody happy.”