TRURO - Stop feeding the deer or be prepared to pay.
That is the message Truro council wishes to impart on town residents who are feeding the ever-increasing population of white-tailed deer within urban boundaries.
"We have too many deer in town. People are feeding," Coun. Tom Chisholm said during Monday's meeting.
And to counter that, Chisholm proposed that the town begin levying "a huge fine" against anyone who is caught feeding deer.
The town currently has a bylaw in place that prohibits the feeding of wild birds and animals, which reads as follows: "No person shall feed one or more wild animals in any place in such a manner or to such an extent that doing so causes or may cause an unreasonable interference with another person's use and enjoyment of his or her property, or of a public place."
Anyone convicted under the bylaw can be subject to a fine ranging from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $1,000 or jail time to a maximum of 30 days in default of paying the fine.
Mayor Bill Mills agreed with Chisholm, however, that particular attention should be paid to the deer-feeding issue.
To that end, it was suggested that the town's bylaw enforcement officer be tasked with looking into areas where there is evidence that deer feeding is taking place, through the use of feeders, piles of apples or by other means.
And Mills said town staff will be asked to come up with a plan to further discourage the practice of feeding deer.
"By fall, we have to do something," he said.