Members of the Vancouver Park Board approved a draft bylaw amendment Monday night that would impose a $ 500 fine for feeding city life.
The proposal comes after months of reported coyote attacks in Stanley Park and a public messaging campaign urging visitors to stop omitting food that attracts animals.
“It is physically unhealthy for animals and encourages food conditioning that can lead to aggressive (behavior),” reads a report summary to the board.
READ MORE: Vancouver park director convinced Stanley Park is ‘safe’, but visitors are encouraged to be vigilant
As it stands, the BC Wildlife Act contains provisions against feeding “dangerous wildlife”, but it does not apply to other urban animals.
Current statutes prohibit leaving food anywhere in parks except garbage cans, but the change specifically includes feeding or attempting to feed animals and leaving food or grain for them.
The amended bylaws still need another round of approval to take effect, which can happen as soon as Oct. 4 at the next meeting of the Vancouver Park Board.
Board members are also expected to discuss potentially raising the $ 500 fine, expanding the definition of wildlife and enforcement methods.
Park staff say they have used staff monitoring, active debris removal, public education and signage. However, these methods seem to fall short.
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“The Stanley Park Ecology Society, Vancouver, City Board, Park Board and Provincial Conservation Officers Service receive regular reports on feeding wildlife in parks, including hand-feeding and depositing large quantities of livestock or human food on the ground for the purpose of feeding wildlife.” Sounds like the report that went for the board Monday night.
“In some observed cases, this behavior appears to take close-ups of wildlife.”
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Stanley Park reopened to visitors last week after a temporary closure in which four coyotes were deleted.
Seven problematic animals had previously been removed and the remaining coyotes are not expected to cause problems, Amit Gandha, acting park director, told Global News last week.
At least 45 coyote attacks had been reported since December, five of which involved children.
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