Feeding wildlife now prohibited in Oakville, fines range upwards of $300


Published May 3, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Oakville residents or property owners caught feeding wildlife on public or private property can now face fines ranging from $300 to $500. PEXELS PHOTO

Feeding raccoons or squirrels on public or private property in Oakville will now cost you a steep fine.

Oakville Town Council recently approved an amendment to the Lot Maintenance By-law prohibiting feeding wildlife and leaving food out to attract animals.

Together with the Parks By-law and Property Standards By-law, any person caught feeding the animals and violating these rules can now be issued a ticket by officers and face a fine between $300 to $500.

To curb direct or indirect feeling, the town also has the ability to issue a court summons for more serious offenses and repeat offenders.

While the idea of feeding wildlife seems harmless, the Town found it can have serious impacts on both animals and the community.

Problems that could arise include:

  • conditioning animals to expect food from people or be dependent on people as a food source
  • attracting unwanted species to a property
  • animals losing their natural fear of humans
  • increased public health concerns from the spread of disease and increased rodent activity and infestation
  • negative interactions with pets and humans
  • animals falling ill because the artificial food sources is not healthy for wildlife

Exceptions still remain for feeding songbirds or hummingbirds. That will still be allowed provided the bird feeder is kept tidy and food spillage is removed so it doesn’t attract other wildlife.

Licensed trappers, authorized wildlife or pest control agencies or their employees, will also continue to be allowed to leave food as bait as part of their work.

For a full list of what can and can’t be fed, review the Lot Maintenance By-law Update Report and Appendix A.

The town is also reminding residents and property owners to keep their properties tidy, removing all water and food sources from one’s yard, including birdseed and ripe/rotted fruit that has fallen to the ground and storing garbage, compost and pet food in a place where wildlife cannot access it.

They also recommend you remove long grass, dead brush and wood piles as well.

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