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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Council moves to ban feeding of wildlife within city limits

Council moves to ban feeding of wildlife within city limits

UNION — Citing public safety, property damage and established management practices, the Union City Council read an ordinance Monday that would prohibit feeding deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and other potentially habituated wildlife within city limits. 

If the ordinance passes, violators could face a citation.

Union’s growing deer population is a driving force behind the proposed ordinance.

“In my yard lately, it is not uncommon to see 10 to 15 deer standing there,” said Councilor Scott Yeager. 

According to Yeager, deer can be a hazard to local health. 

After receiving complaints from residents regarding property damage, traffic issues and safety concerns for pets and children, the city requested help from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with the deer population.

“The only way that ODFW will assist us is if we have an ordinance in place that says it is illegal to feed the deer,” said Sandra Patterson, Union City Recorder. “It is not like we want all the deer to go away, we just need to thin our population.”

Several members of the community voiced concern to the council about the proposed ban on feeding wildlife.

“Deer eat bird feed, they eat squirrel feed. It is going to be very difficult to not feed the deer,” said Union resident Kevin McCormack.

Councilor Matthew Later said the ordinance does not target people who are putting out feed for birds.

“It is not designed to go after people who are feeding the birds and deer are inadvertently getting in there. That is not what it is about,” Later said.

The council is scheduled to vote on the proposed ordinance at the March city council meeting. The citation amount has yet to be determined.

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