Oct 5, 2021 - News

Des Moines narrows proposed wildlife feeding ban

A photo of a squirrel.
Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

A proposed wildlife feeding ban in Des Moines now only includes waterfowl and deer after the City Council reversed course on a far more expansive plan Monday night.

Why it matters: Squirrels, feral cats, raccoons and any animal "not normally domesticated" in Iowa were included in the original proposal that we told you about Friday.

  • Fines up to $850 were possible.

Driving the news: The City Council voted unanimously Monday to narrow the ban, and approved the first of three readings of the ordinance.

  • Final approval is expected in coming weeks.

State of play: Deer and waterfowl were always the intended focus because of the spread of diseases.

  • The ban is necessary for Des Moines to qualify for state assistance in controlling its Canada geese population.

Behind the scenes: The definition of "wild animal" was broad and some residents felt it went too far.

  • Corn for squirrels and scraps for alley cats β€” which our readers had asked us about β€” would've been illegal under the original proposal.

πŸ’­ Thought bubble: While the definitions may have been too far-reaching, there was good intent behind the city's first proposal.

  • Feeding most wild animals is generally a bad idea because it spreads bacteria and increases the risks of disease.
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