Sarnia is turning over operation of the Children’s Animal Farm to staff at the Sarnia & District Humane Society.
The new partnership agreement will see the city continue to own and maintain the popular attraction in Canatara Park, but provide $157,000 annually for shelter staff to care for the farm’s animals and run its volunteer programs.
A third partner, The Kiwanis Club of the Seaway, will continue to make capital improvements.
The one full-time city worker who currently runs the farm will be redeployed within the parks department.
The Humane Society has said it plans to add tours and day camps at the farm, as well as volunteers and student co-op placements.
The new agreement, approved in an 8-1 vote by council last week, with Mayor Mike Bradley the lone opponent, begins Jan. 1 and runs for five years.
A Nov. 16 city staff report said inspectors from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raised concerns about “non-compliance issues” following inspections at the farm in the winter and spring of 2015.
They included overcrowded fowl pens, uninsulated shelters for livestock and a manure pit too close to the animals.