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News release

City Reminds Residents – Don’t Feed Wildlife

Environment | February 25, 2021

Don’t feed wildlife. It’s a message and a reminder from the City’s Animal Services team to the public. As tempting as it is to get close to nature by feeding them, there are negative effects and consequences from these actions. 

Wild animals should obtain their food and shelter naturally. This helps wildlife maintain their natural adaptation for survival and become less dependent on people. Feeding wildlife can include intentional feeding – which is illegal under the City’s Animal Care and Control By-law – as well as the illegal dumping of food waste.

The negative impacts of feeding wildlife can include (but is not limited to):

  • Increase in nuisance wildlife such as resilient non-native birds (e.g., feral pigeons, sparrows) that can outcompete with other native bird species for habitat.
  • An unnatural increase in wildlife populations can increase nuisance wildlife activity and unsanitary conditions – such as bird droppings that can damage property and pose a health risk.
  • Attracts other unwanted pests such as rats and mice, which in turn can attract larger predators like coyotes that can prey on neighbourhood pets.
  • Unwillingness for wildlife to search naturally for food, which can lead to illness or disease.

Animal Services continue to educate residents and patrol areas of the city where intentional feeding is a concern. This includes the surrounding area of Hurontario Street and Dundas Street where there is an overcrowding of pigeons due to feeding. Over a two-day enforcement blitz on February 9 and 10 of this year, the City issued four tickets for observed intentional feeding of wildlife. This followed a two-week enforcement blitz at the end of 2019 that saw 21 tickets issued.

Mississauga residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy and live in harmony with wildlife by not interfering with their natural instincts and behaviours.

Learn more about urban wildlife by visiting mississauga.ca/wildlife.

Image with text reminding people not to feed wildlife, with a photo of a pigeon.

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