Let them eat grass

City of Parksville’s deer feeding bylaw targets only the human touch

“This is not an anti-deer bylaw, let them eat what they usually eat, we don’t feed them in the wild,” said councilor Marc Lefebvre, defending a proposed bylaw against feeding deer.

While it has support on council, the councilors conceded they have heard some opposition in the community.

“There are many ways to feed deer,” expressed coun. Bill Neufeld, the most vocal opponent, suggesting people would get around the bylaw by growing plants to feed them. He has described the bylaw as unenforceable and overly controlling, trying to micromanage residents.

Councillor Morrison agreed it is unenforceable and a bit of overkill.

Coun. Carrie Powell-Davidson said the deer are “delightful to watch in our neighbourhood,” but stressed the bylaw is about treating them as the wild animals they are and “not treating them like pets, which they’re not.”

Mayor Chris Burger pointed out the local conservation officers are very supportive of the bylaw. He said having the law on the books is the first step in encouraging people to stop.

Coun. Sue Powell, who introduced the motion, said the discussion alone has stopped at least one resident from leaving buckets of food out for deer — already a good thing, she said.

With coun. Al Greir absent, the bylaw passed second and third reading by 4-2 with Neufeld and Morrison voting against.

The bylaw, which would fine people $100 for intentionally leaving food out for deer, will come back for final reading at the next meeting.