As the fall season progresses, wildlife will become more visible in and around the community and people are being reminded not to feed wild critters.
Feeding wildlife is prohibited throughout the City of Vernon, including feeding wildlife on private properties and in public, such as along creeks or in parks.
City bylaws prohibit a person from feeding or attempting to feed any wildlife or placing an attractant that could attract wildlife to a property.
Therefore, property owners must ensure:
- Any fruit or nuts from a tree, bush or shrub is maintained and stored in such a manner so as not to attract wildlife;
- Any bird feeder containing bird feed, suet or nectar is suspended on a cable or other device in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife; and the area below any bird feeding devices or activity is kept free of accumulations of seeds and similar attractant;
- Any composting activity is carried out and any composting device or equipment is maintained in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife;
- Household waste carts are stored properly and maintained in a clean condition that does not attract wildlife and lids remain closed;
- Barbecue equipment and tools that remain outside must be clean and free of residual food or grease;
- Any refrigerator, freezer, storage container or similar appliance, device or apparatus that contains attractants of any type, if placed or located outdoors, is located and equipped in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife; and
- Any grease, antifreeze, paint or petroleum product is stored in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife.
These regulations were developed to reduce unintended negative consequences to wildlife, reduce damage to private property by animals, and reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflict.
According to the BC SPCA wild animals suffer when they get used to eating human food instead of their natural diet. When people feed wildlife, the animals also lose their healthy fear of people. This increases their chances of being injured or killed. Some municipalities have bylaws against feeding wildlife.