Animal lovers cautioned against feeding urban deer - even if they beg at the window

Animal lovers cautioned against feeding urban deer – even if they beg at the window

Even if the deer press their little faces against your kitchen window and smack their lips – do not feed them

While it may be tempting to feed deer when the weather is harsh, a Princeton councillor is reminding residents this week that the practice is both harmful and against the law.

“We should not feed the deer, even if they beg,” said town councillor Barb Gould, who heads up the municipality’s wildlife portfolio.

“WildSafe BC also advises against feeding urban deer as it doesn’t help the deer in the long term. Supplementing their food supply can trigger an increase in population that is not sustainable,” she said in an interview with the Spotlight.

“The Town of Princeton does have a bylaw that prohibits the intentional feeding of deer.”

Related: Town deer are making Princeton residents fearful, says councillor

The bylaw states no person may “give, place, expose, deposit, distribute, or scatter any food or other substance with the intention of feeding, attracting or enticing deer.”

Anyone violating the bylaw is subject to a $250 fine, and the bylaw officer has the right to enter any property, at all reasonable times, to enforce the legislation.

Last fall Gould announced she is working with provincial experts to develop a deer management plan. All options are on the table, she said in a November interview, including culling, relocation and doe sterilization.

That release followed numerous complaints from residents who said they feared aggressive deer, with some people admitting they were even frightened to leave their homes to go for a walk.

The fall deer count, recorded 80 deer in town, observed in just 45 minutes.

Related: Princeton councillor says taller fences would protect lawns from deer

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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