Citing a host of problems, the Bracebridge bylaw department is asking Town Council to tighten up the rules when it comes to feeding wildlife.
During tomorrow’s general committee meeting councillors will consider the implementation of a wildlife feeding bylaw.
The draft bylaw states that, “no person shall place or permit the placement of any food, pet food or feeding device on any public or private property within the Town in a manner that attracts wildlife or a wild animal.”
Bird feeders are allowed as long as they’re intended for songbirds, they’re fed from a bird feeding device sufficiently above grade to not attract wildlife, they don’t attract large flocks of birds like pigeons, and several other stipulations.
According to the draft, breaking the bylaws comes with a $200 set fine.
In recent years the bylaw department has seen an increasing number of complaints regarding feeding and aggressive animal interactions, according to a report by Michael Mayer, Chief By-law Enforcement Officer.
“The feeding of wildlife can result in a number of problems, such as an increase in human-wildlife conflict, a possible rise in the population of unwanted animals and wildlife, and detrimental effects on the welfare and health of wildlife,” says Mayer. “Wild animals should be left alone as they rarely require human assistance or nourishment. This makes it possible for people, pets, and wildlife to coexist. Concerns with the feeding of wildlife are echoed by experts and animal welfare stakeholders.”
According to the report, when feeding, numerous species of local wildlife tend to congregate in significant numbers. Consequently, this clustering of animals near local roads amplifies the likelihood of collisions between vehicles and animals, leading to potential property damage, injuries, or fatalities for both animals and humans.
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