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Feeding Wild Geese

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From: Greg Mason
Decatur, IL
Is it legal to feed wild geese in a residential area? We have a neighbor that feeds them daily and now there are lots of them everywhere making a mess of yards, driveways, and sidewalks. Children cannot walk through the yards.

Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
There is not a state law against it unless there are deer in the area (see the exert from the IDNR Digest below for more info). But there may be a city ordinance against feeding geese. You would need to call the mayor's office or city council to find out. Geese are herbivores, so it is better for their health if people do not feed them.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Digest: It is unlawful to make available food, salt, mineral blocks or other products for ingestion by wild deer or other wildlife in areas where wild deer are present. Except: -- elevated bird/squirrel feeders providing seed, grain, fruit, worms, or suet for birds or squirrels located within 100 feet of a dwelling devoted to human occupancy. incidental feeding of wildlife within active livestock operations. --feeding of wild animals, other than wild deer, by hand as long as a reasonable attempt is made to clean up unconsumed food. --feeders for wildlife other than deer so long as deer are excluded from the feed in and around the feeder by fencing or other barriers. --standing crops planted and left standing as food plots for wildlife. --grain or other feed scattered or distributed solely as a result of normal agricultural, gardening, or soil stabilization practices. --standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation or food/seed deposited by natural vegetation. -- grain or other feed distributed or scattered solely as the result of manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown, for purposes of dove hunting. --food material placed for capturing or killing wildlife pursuant to 520 ILCS 5/2.37, 2.30, and 1.3. --scientific permits issued pursuant to 17 Ill. Adm. Code 520 that allow food to attract wildlife. --any other permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources that require the attraction of wildlife for purposes of management, research or control.

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