The mayor of Smiths Falls says that a new bylaw barring residents from feeding wildlife is not meant to stop backyard bird feeders.
Under the new bylaw passed by Smiths Falls Town Council, residents could face a fine of $150 if caught feeding wildlife in their backyards or parks.
Mayor Shawn Pankow told the Rick Gibbons Show Thursday that the bylaw was triggered by regular complaints from residents about their neighbours feeding seagulls and pigeons in their backyards.
"We can all appreciate that if we're living next door to a home that has a resident that is out feeding seagulls and attracting them, they're not something you really want in your neighbourhood," he told the Rick Gibbons Show.
Listen to the full conversation:
Pankow says the bylaw is meant to serve as a deterrent and that those in violation will get a warning before a fine. He says the bylaw has received mixed reaction, but enforcement will be complaint driven.
"We're not going around looking in peoples' backyards to see what they're feeding and what they're not feeding. We won't be surveying our parks to see if someone is giving a peanut to a squirrel," Pankow said. "It's more a matter of if we do have issues in the future, and we have complaints brought to us by residents then we have some authority to say please stop what you're doing, it's impacting you're neighbourhood and if people do not comply then of course then there is a risk of a fine."