Changes to Animal Control Bylaw

Last Thursday, City Council adopted changes to the Animal Control Bylaw that prohibits the intentional feeding of certain animals within the city.

The amendment now prohibits the intentional feeding of raccoons, squirrels and feral rabbits within the city. In addition, it also prohibits the intentional feeding of pigeons, crows or gulls in the downtown core area. This area is roughly bounded by the Inner Harbour, Bay Street, Cook Street, and Superior Street.

The bylaw already prohibits the feeding of deer anywhere in the city. Mammals such as deer and raccoons can become habituated when fed, potentially causing a public safety risk, and can ultimately result in the destruction of the habituated animal. Feeding of birds in the downtown area can cause a nuisance, and excessive droppings can be a potential health risk.

Bylaw enforcement will be on a complaint basis, and will be enforced by the City's Bylaw Officers and Animal Control Officers. As with all City bylaws, voluntary compliance through education will be the focus. Non-compliance will generally be addressed with information or a warning. Further action will normally be undertaken where compliance is not achieved on a voluntary basis. Under the Ticket Bylaw, the fine for unlawfully feeding deer and raccoons is $350. The fine for unlawfully feeding the animals noted in the amendment is $125.