There’s a growing concern about wildlife being intentionally fed in Lumby.
Council has instructed staff to investigate the legal issues around residents feeding animals and whether there may be a need for bylaws.
“It’s something that has the potential for problems,” said Coun. Randal Ostafichuk of deer becoming aggressive or predators being drawn into town.
The issue was brought to council’s attention by resident Kathy Munts, who is aware of people who feed deer.
“There are up to nine at a time in this the third year,” said Munts in a letter.
“The deer are not scared away by people or dogs and they have actually charged a member of my family and our dogs. One need only look to other B.C. communities like Cranbrook and Penticton to see the problem that the deer have become. I am extremely concerned we could face the same issues if this matter is not addressed quickly.”
Munts is encouraging Lumby to develop a bylaw that restricts the feeding of wildlife.
“I strongly believe that it would be irresponsible to wait until the deer problem is out of control and that we should be proactive,” she said.
Ostafichuk isn’t sure if a bylaw is possible, but says village staff will investigate what other municipalities have done and also contact the Ministry of Environment to investigate any existing laws on the books.
“We don’t want wildlife being fed because the potential for problems is high,” said Ostafichuk.
Some communities have had to cull deer because of the large population, and that’s something Mayor Kevin Acton wants to avoid in Lumby.
“We don’t want to destroy animals but if they become tame, there are issues,” he said.