New bylaw makes it illegal to feed deer in Saint John
A new bylaw makes it illegal to feed the deer in Saint John, but some residents are raising questions about how the law can be enforced.
The city is trying to contain its growing urban deer population as the animals appear to be growing bolder.
“We’ve gotten to the point now where the deer will come right to the front door and they’re looking for little bits of food,” says Gillian Miller, director of care at Kennebec Manor, a long-term care facility in Saint John’s north end.
“They’re to the point now where they’re not afraid of people, so you know you could drive up to one and you have to beep your horn and get out, and they just don’t move,” says Saint John Coun. John MacKenzie.
“They’re a problem and they’re a health hazard.”
Resident Shirley Richard admits she has a love-hate relationship with the deer.
“Certainly, people feeding them encourages them to hang around. If there’s food they’re gonna hang around,” says Richard. “I know we’ve encroached on their territory, but they are wild animals, and we’re not doing them any service by feeding them, so I think it’s a great thing.”
Under the new bylaw, anyone caught feeding the deer could be fined up to $500.
However, Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary says she questions how the bylaw will be enforced.
“Unless somebody, one of your neighbours, is going to take a picture of you doing it and report you, and be willing to go to court to prove you were feeding the deer, then how are you going to be charged?” she asks.
The city could take its crackdown on urban deer one step further. Coun. John MacKenzie says the next step is applying to the province for permission to have a cull put in place.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Lyall