Feeding Wildlife? It will cost you up to $5000 in fines

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Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – The Wildlife Feeding Prohibition By-law that prohibits the feeding of deer within the City of Thunder Bay was passed by City Council on Feb. 27. The By-law is in effect immediately, however enforcement measures will not be taken until May 1.

“We want to take the next couple of months to inform the community of the requirements of the By-law, and to encourage those who are actively feeding deer to stop,” said Ron Bourret, Manager of Licensing & Enforcement. “We hope we can obtain voluntary compliance with the By-law, and will not have to take enforcement measures.”

The By-law outlines that the feeding of deer and wildlife contributes to unpredictable and aggressive behaviour of deer and wildlife, increases the opportunity for motor vehicle collisions involving deer and wildlife and can spread infectious diseases among deer, wildlife and human beings. It also creates overpopulation, which can contribute to the destruction of private and public property and the unpredictable and aggressive behaviour of wildlife.

Some exemptions of feeding deer and wildlife include:

  • Vegetables located in vegetable gardens, greenhouses, or pots;
  • Flowers in flower gardens, beds, or pots;
  • Landscaped lawns or vegetation (including cedar hedges);
  • Fruit on fruit trees, whether naturally occurring or planted;
  • Compost stations.

After the May 1 deadline, a Provincial Offences Act ticket or summons to attend Court could be issued to anyone found not obeying the By-law, and a fine of up to $5000 is possible.

Under the new By-law, “Wildlife” means any non-domesticated animal, including geese, ducks and gulls, but excluding all other birds. That means it includes feeding of squirrels.