Thumbs down on wildlife feeding bylaw

by Gregg Chamberlain - EAP
Thumbs down on wildlife feeding bylaw
Alfred-Plantagenet Township council does not feel that the municipality needs a bylaw to tell people to stop feeding wildlife in the area. Council thinks that anyone who has a problem with wildlife on their property should hire someone to trap the animal for later release far away from the area. (Photo : Pexels)

Most of Alfred-Plantagenet Township council think that the municipality does not need a bylaw telling residents not to feed wild animals.

“We don’t need these kind of bylaws,” said Councillor Ian Walker. “It’s hard to manage.”

Council reviewed a draft proposal for a bylaw dealing with feeding wildlife during its September 19 committee of the whole session. Councillor Jean-Pierre Cadieux proposed the bylaw, saying that he has received complaints from residents in one neighbourhood about a person putting food out for birds and attracting large numbers of gulls and other birds that were becoming a nuisance.

The proposed bylaw, if approved, would forbid residents from leaving any garbage, food leftovers, compost or any other type of debris outside and available to any animal to scavenge for food. All garbage containers and compost bins would need to be secured against animals.

The bylaw would also forbid leaving food out that would attract large “pest birds” like gulls, crows, ravens, and pigeons that would end gathering in large flocks and becoming a nuisance for other property owners.

The bylaw would include exceptions for the ban on feeding wildlife. It would not apply to bird feeders set out for the benefit of small birds like cardinals, finches, marlins, and sparrows. It would also not apply to situations where wild animals are feeding on fruit and berry trees and bushes or on seeds or nuts found on trees or on the ground on a person’s property.

Most members of council agreed that the bylaw would be too difficult to enforce. They indicated that residents should try to consider their neighbours when they choose to leave food out for wild animals. Council also indicated that if anyone has problems with wild animals in their neighbourhood they should hire a trapper to catch the animals for later release far away from the property.

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