A Mobile City Council committee decided not to move forward on an amendment to an ordinance that would ban the feeding of squirrels and other wild animals on city property.
The council’s public safety committee voted Tuesday afternoon to recommend the proposed law be tabled, when the full council meets again on Tuesday, May 26.
City Attorney Ricardo Woods told councilors the ban on feeding was the most humane way to control the population of wild animals in parks and other public property. He added that right now, the city can only “gather and move,” or “gather and dispose of” animals that become an issue because of overpopulation.
“This is a safe alternative,” he said.
Councilors were reluctant to pass an ordinance and instead asked the administration to find a “less intrusive” way to deal with the problem. One suggestion was to post signs to let park visitors know not to feed the animals. Councilman Bess Rich suggested the city put up “cute signs,” to suggest the squirrels were on a diet.
Enforcement of the proposed amendment included fines of up to $500 for feeding wild animals, or water fowl on city property.