District shores up deer plan

Central Saanich anti-feeding bylaw applies to deer, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels

Central Saanich took another step in their efforts to quell the fast-growing deer population on the Saanich Peninsula at a recent council meeting.

Council voted unanimously on Monday, Aug. 12 to adopt two bylaws which prohibit the feeding of wild animals in the District.

Bylaws 1814 and 1815 prohibit the intentional feeding of deer, rabbits, racoons and squirrels in the municipality and make feeding the wild animals a ticket-able offence.

The bylaws are part of the District’s participation in the Regional Deer Management Program spearheaded by the CRD.

Central and North Saanich indicated an interest in participating in rural pilot projects last year which will provide things like community outreach on conflict reduction with wild animals, as well as investigate population reduction options and performance evaluation of management measures used.

In Central Saanich, police have worked to streamline the permit process for farmers seeking to do crop protection as well as council has requested the province allow use of deer harvested through crop protection measures (right now, any deer killed by farmers during crop protection has to be buried, left in the field or used only by First Nations.) The CRD has also involved two of the First Nations communities (Tsartlip and Tsawout) in talks regarding harvesting and using deer meat.

Oak Bay and View Royal agreed to participate in an urban pilot project that has some similar aspects to it including public outreach projects and bylaws concerning the feeding of wild animals.