Skip to main content

Taxes, Bounties & By-laws

Animals often appear in archival records where you would least expect them to. An example of this is municipal by-laws. Historically, due to rabies outbreaks spreading between stray and feral dogs, by-laws were established in Oxford County to restrain and regulate dogs running loose to prevent the endangerment of people and property. Municipal by-laws were also established for the appointment of officers including the “pound keeper” and “evaluator of sheep”. Many municipalities also passed a “dog tax” by-law to protect poultry from being killed by loose dogs. For example, in 1954 in West Zorra Township, a by-law was passed providing that if any poultry were killed by a dog, a tax of fifty pounds (around $83) or more per bird had to be paid by the owner of the dog. Historically, wild foxes appear to have been an issue in Oxford County. We have a number of fox bounties in our records from various townships throughout the county during a period when foxes were considered pests. Hunters and farmers could hunt foxes and receive a monetary bounty reward in return. This was meant to reduce the population of foxes in the county.

Check out some of the municipal by-laws, bounties, and taxes related to animals below.