At its regular public meeting, Edmundston City Council proceeded with the final reading to amend the Animal Control By-Law.
It should be noted that, at the insistence of some residents who continue to feed white-tailed deer within city limites, elected officials decided last month to initiate proceedings to add a formal ban on the feeding of these wild animals in the municipal animal control by-law.
With the adoption of this amendment to the by-law, the City is now in a position to issue fines of $140 and up to $1,100.
"On the one hand, we find it a bit sad to have to get to this point, but on the other hand, we now have a legislative tool that allows us to take concrete action if people are caught. We hope that people who have continued to feed the deer despite repeated warnings will now think twice about pursuing this," says Mayor Cyrille Simard.
In October 2018, City Council issued an official statement asking the population to stop feeding wild animals, including white-tailed deer. This statement came after much concern raised by several citizens about the increase in the number of white-tailed deer and other wildlife, including some predators, in residential neighbourhoods.
Following this official statement, information brochures were sent to all households, roadside signs were placed, meetings were held with people who feed deer and information workshops were organized. Despite this, the problem persists in the community.
Many North American agencies discourage feeding wildlife as it results in a number of health, hygiene and safety problems. In fact, the action of feeding wild animals translates into :
Increased risk of road accidents
Increase in parasites (ticks)
Disease transmission (Lyme, rabies)
Predator attraction (coyotes, bears)
Damage to properties (plants, trees, gardens)
Harmful to the health of wild animals.
The amended Animal Control By-law is effective immediately.