City of Burlington reminds residents of increased fines for feeding wildlife

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Published November 24, 2022 at 4:42 pm

coyote mississauga

With the recent coyote attacks that have occurred in Burlington, the City is reminding residents the importance of not feeding wildlife and the increased fines associated with the offence.

“Under no circumstances, should coyotes/wildlife, be fed by humans. Once the boundary of acceptable interaction with humans is crossed, the animal must be eliminated for public safety,” wrote the City on Twitter.

In an effort to prevent residents from feeding wildlife, council recently decided that Animal Control Officers will have the discretion to issue tickets of $300 (previously $150).

Additionally, they will be able to issue a court summons with an increased fine range from $500 up to a maximum of $100,000 (previously $5,000); although summons is usually reserved for serious offences and repeat offenders.

This time of year, it’s common to spot coyotes who are on the prowl to feed themselves and their hungry pups.

While coyotes do a great deal of good for ecosystems, they are by nature, predators. They have been known to hunt small animals in neighbourhoods which can include cats and small dogs in extreme cases. This is why residents are reminded to never leave their pets unattended, especially at night, even in a fenced backyard due to the fact that coyotes can view pets as a threat to their territory.

So, aside from never feeding coyotes, here are a few tips for Burlington residents in order to keep their families and pets safe.

Residents are reminded to store garbage, compost and pet food in a place coyotes cannot access, supervise animals when they are in the yard and clean up after their dogs as coyotes are attracted to dog feces. Residents may also practice hazing to let coyotes know they are not welcome.

Although coyotes are naturally wary of humans, they will seek food and shelter in residential neighbourhoods when the opportunity arises. This is why it’s important never to feed coyotes which can cause aggressive behaviour as a result of them becoming too familiar with humans.

Should residents come face to face with coyotes, they may also appear aggressive by standing tall, waving their arms, shouting, clapping their hands and making a lot of noise. It’s important to remember to never turn your back on, or run from, a coyote and to always back away if you come across any pups.

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