2005-10-13 / Letters to the Editor

Don’t feed the deer

Don’t feed the deer

While in an area business yesterday, I noticed that they were selling wildlife food. The bag had a picture of a deer on the front suggesting that the food is to feed deer.

When I inquired about the product, I was told that several people had requested it, indicating that deer will feed on this in preference to feeding on gardens or shrubs.

While this seems like a logical way to prevent deer damage, feeding deer in Rhode Island (and many other states) is now illegal. A Rhode Island law passed in July 2005 now makes it illegal to feed white-tailed deer in the state.

The impetus for this law is a concern for the potential spread of chronic wasting disease through the feeding of deer. CWD is a transmissible degenerative neurological illness that affects both farmed and wild deer and their relatives.

There are also other biological concerns regarding deer populations that are fostered by feeding them. Simply put, deer are wild animals and artificially feeding them is not good for the individual deer or the population. So please do not feed our deer — it is illegal and not good for the deer.

Chris Powell

chairman, Conservation Commission

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