Feeding nuisance animals off limits in Victoria

City council gives nod to ban that includes feeding birds downtown

Feeding seagulls and other birds in downtown Victoria is now officially prohibited

With provincial blessing in hand, the City of Victoria council has adopted new bylaws prohibiting people from feeding a variety of animals.

Last February, council gave first nod to prohibition on feeding gulls, crows and pigeons in the downtown core, as well as racoons, squirrels and feral rabbits anywhere in the city.

One snag held up the animal control bylaw, however. While municipalities have been given jurisdiction over most nuisance species, gulls require special permission due to their inclusion in the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act.

On Nov. 1, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations gave Victoria’s proposed feeding ban the thumbs up. Council passed the bylaw Dec. 13.

Violators face a $125 fine for feeding most prohibited animals on the list – or $350 for feeding racoons or deer.

The fine won’t be the first line of defence, however.

“Our goal is to educate the public,” said Mark Hayden, Victoria’s manager of bylaw and licensing services. “This isn’t an arbitrary thing. There is a rationale behind it.”

Enforcement will be reserved for “individuals that aren’t getting the message for some reason,” he said.

Hayden estimates the city receives between one and two complaints per week during the summer season about people feeding animals.

A ban on feeding deer has been in place for years, but so far, nobody has been ticketed for the offence.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria Whisky Festival kicks off this weekend

Whisky-lovers flock to Hotel Grand Pacific for weekend events and tastings

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

25 drivers in Victoria pulled for drug impairment since cannabis legalized

Little change seen in number of impaired drivers since new laws enacted

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Investigators await forensics in fatal Mill Bay police shooting

Independent investigation continues after Chris Bloomfield killed in Mill Bay in November

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Most Read