You aren’t supposed to feed deer or moose, but what if one of those creatures raids your backyard bird feeder? Are you held responsible? Find out what you need to know about the DEC’s new regulation to reduce wildlife feeding.
Why We Can’t Feed Wild Deer & Moose
The DEC first prohibited deer feeding in 2002 in an effort to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, but problems caused by feeding wildlife go beyond CWD.
“Feeding deer and moose can artificially increase populations and change behavior, causing harm to people, wildlife, and the environment,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos explained in his announcement.
The new regulation specifies what is considered illegal feeding, reduces the sale and marketing of retail products packaged as attractants for deer and moose, and it also establishes guidelines for legal use of 4-PosterTM Tickicide.
Prohibiting the feeding of deer and moose is believed to be the best possible approach to reduce risks associated with disease, human/animal conflicts, and to protect wildlife habitats.
The Details of the New Regulation
There are exceptions to the no feeding wildlife rule, mostly having to do with authentic agricultural practices. Also, deer or moose eating from a bird feeder will only be considered a violation if the DEC has previously issued a written warning to the owner of the feeder. This way, bird feeders don’t need to be outright banned.
Retail products packaged for sale as food or edible attractants for wild deer or moose must have a label dictating that use of the product is illegal in New York State. These foods or food products are typically used by hunters.
And, the regulation specifies how to use 4-PosterTM Tickicide legally and how to acquire the appropriate permit to do so from the DEC. The 4-PosterTM Tickicide dispenses a tick-killing pesticide on deer as they eat corn; this of course involves feeding the animals. In certain parts of New York where tick-borne disease are rampant this is an attractive product, and now we can use it when needed under the DEC’s new regulation.
In short, you can keep your bird feeder, but if you farm or hunt you may want to read up more on the regulations.