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NYC Parks proposes ban on feeding birds, squirrels, other animals (, April 12, 2019

NYC Parks proposes ban on feeding birds, squirrels, other animals

“According to the New York City Bar Association, violation of the rule would result in a civic penalty of $50, or $75 for a default penalty. Additionally, the rule constitutes a violation of Penal Law, which could carry fines as high as $200 or result in up to one day of imprisonment. The New York City Bar’s Animal Law and Civil Rights Committees have issued a written testimony objecting to the proposed rule change. ‘We oppose the proposed rule because it may impose severe penalties on people who are acting with good intentions and who are likely unaware that they are violating the law,’ the testimony states. The Bar noted NYC Parks justifications for the proposed rule — depriving animals of their natural diets, causing animals to lose fear of humans and exhibit aggressive behavior, as well as possibly disturbing the balanced ecosystem — but argued that other measures could be taken to rectify the issue. ‘While we acknowledge that feeding wild birds and squirrels may create problems, we believe that NYC Parks would be more successful at solving those problems if it instead educates the public about these unintended consequences. Rather than handing a person feeding birds or squirrels in the park a summons, an Urban Park Ranger could provide an educational pamphlet,’ the testimony states.”

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