Vancouver Park Board votes in favour of banning the feeding of wildlife in parks
The Vancouver Park Board voted unanimously Monday night to ban the feeding of wildlife in city parks.
The recommended rules, which may now come with a $500 fine, were presented to commissioners from the general manager of the Vancouver Park Board. The suggestion came after access to Stanley Park was limited for weeks following a series of coyote attacks on adults and children.
"Human feeding of wildlife interferes with normal foraging, hunting and population numbers. It is physically unhealthy for animals, and encourages food-conditioning that can lead to aggressive behaviour," the recommendation to the park board said.
"While the B.C. Wildlife Act includes provisions against feeding 'dangerous wildlife,' provincial enforcement resources are stretched, and the restrictions do not extend to other urban wildlife."
Previously, the local park board's bylaws regarding feeding wildlife were nearly non-existent. The rule said people can't "deposit food or grain on any area in a park except in litter cans provided by the board for the purpose of receiving garbage and litter." Where garbage cans aren't provided, park guests must take litter with them.
Instead, the general manager recommended adding a section that specifically targets feeding wildlife, similar to what's in the province's Wildlife Act. One difference in the proposal, however, was to remove "dangerous" from the description, and broaden the rules to all wildlife.
In spite of Monday's vote, the issue of enforcement is still up in the air. Provincial conservation officers can hand out tickets, but local park rangers don't have authority to ask for identification to issue fines. The board plans to meet again next week to discuss enforcement options.