Town bylaw prohibiting the feeding of deer expanded to include other wildlife

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GORE BAY – The Town of Gore Bay has expanded its bylaw prohibiting the feeding of deer in town to include other wildlife as well. 

“What has been proposed is to change the wording to include other wildlife as well,” Stasia Carr, Gore Bay clerk told council at a regular council meeting March 9.

At a recent town governance committee meeting, discussion ensued on the issue and the committee made a recommendation to council that the amendment made to bylaw number 2017-24 prohibiting the feeding of deer and other wildlife within Gore Bay be approved as presented.

Under the bylaw, which received all three readings and was passed by council at its meeting states in part, “whereas citizens in the Town of Gore Bay have expressed concern that the feeding of deer contributes to the destruction of private property, increases the potential for car/deer accidents and the increased potential for contact with deer ticks that could result in contracting Lyme disease; and whereas the feeding of other wildlife including foxes, raccoons, skunks, and wild turkeys can contribute to car/turkey incidents and increased potential for contact with foxes, raccoons and skunks that could result in contracting rabies; and whereas council deems the feeding of deer and other wildlife to cause a threat to public health, safety and welfare to the residents and pets of the town of Gore Bay.”

The amended bylaw prohibits the feeding of deer and other wildlife within the boundaries of the town of Gore Bay including chipmunks, fox, porcupine, raccoon, skunk, squirrel and turkey. 

Under prohibitions of feeding, no owner or occupier of land within the boundaries of the town shall intentionally feed or cause to be fed, provide or make available food or other substances for consumption or attractant for deer or other wildlife, either on private or public property; no owner or occupier of land within the town boundaries shall have any device the deer or other wildlife will be attracted to or which deer or wildlife will actually feed from; owners and occupiers shall remove any previously listed materials that may have been placed on their property.

There are exceptions to the bylaw. This bylaw, which will be enforced by the Town of Gore Bay bylaw enforcement officer, shall not apply to any natural product that is growing on land that is owned or occupied; private vegetable gardens, flower beds and related compost stations; the feeding of songbirds on a property provided the following feeding requirements are met by the owner or occupier. Those include seed that is placed in a feeding device that is sufficiently high enough above grade so as not to attract or be accessible by deer or wildlife; that bird feeding practices do not attract large flocks of homing birds such as pigeons; and that spillage of seed upon the ground is removed and disposed of by the owner or occupier forthwith.

As for penalties resulting from contravention of the newly amended bylaw, every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this bylaw is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to a penalty as authorized by the Provincial Offences Act. For intentionally feeding deer or wildlife, the set fine is $150. For having a feeding device set out the set fine is $250 and failure to remove feed materials left by others is a $250 fine.