Please Don’t Feed Wildlife
The City of Mississauga’s Animal Services would like to kindly remind all residents to refrain from feeding wildlife. Please be advised that the feeding of wildlife is prohibited in Mississauga as per the Animal Care and Control By-law 0098-04 as amended. The feeding of wild animals and birds can become habit forming making them dependent on a food source or unwilling to forage naturally which can lead to illness, disease or injury:
- Like humans, if an animal fills up on junk food or one type of food they may not consume an adequate diet which can lead to nutritional deficiencies or illness.
- Ducks and geese naturally feed on vegetation and water insects. A nutritionally deficient diet of seed or bread can cause illness and disease.
- When ducks and geese gather in large numbers they can become ill from the bacteria in unconsumed food or increased faeces in the water.
- Ducks and geese that have become dependent on human handouts may not migrate and may suffer or starve during the winter months.
- Bird feeders may attract large flocks of non-native species such as sparrows, starlings and feral pigeons as these birds compete for habitat with rare song bird species.
- Improperly maintained bird feeders or poor quality bird feed can actually cause birds to die of illnesses such as salmonella, botulism or other deadly bacterial infections.
The feeding of wild animals can interfere with natural instincts and behaviours and could lead to human/wildlife conflicts:
- Raccoons and squirrels typically live close their food sources which may have them causing damage or denning in neighbouring homes and properties.
- Feeding squirrels, raccoons or coyotes can cause them to become a danger to humans as they will lose their natural fear and approach humans.
- Providing food for birds and squirrels can attract rats and mice due to the spillage of seed.
- An increase in rodent activity can attract larger predators like coyotes and foxes which can also prey on neighbourhood pets.
If you enjoy wildlife and would like to help them, the City’s Animal Services encourages the planting of native flora that will enhance your property and attract wildlife naturally without altering natural behaviour. Adopt responsible bird feeding practices. Reserve bird feeders for winter months and ensure feeders are clean, tidy and seed mix attracts native songbirds. Bring feeders inside at night to discourage raccoons and discontinue feeding if you are attracting rodents or larger mammals like coyotes into the area. For more information, please visit www.mypetmississauga.ca
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