The City of Charlottetown could turn to provincial legislation to fine people who persist in feeding urban foxes, it says.

Earlier this year council discussed introducing a bylaw banning the feeding of foxes, but it abandoned the idea. Council concluded a ban would be impossible to enforce, and opted instead for an education campaign.

'There are the hardcore ones, the ones that feed foxes two or three times a day.' - Coun. David MacDonald

At council Monday night, Coun. Dave MacDonald, chair of the protective services committee, said fines could be possible against "hardcore" feeders of foxes, under provincial legislation concerning endangering wildlife.

"The majority of people who feed foxes, feed foxes on a casual basis, truly believe that what they're doing is helping foxes," said MacDonald.

"We feel, when they're properly informed through the education campaign,that they'll stop. There are the hardcore ones, the ones that feed foxes two or three times a day. Those people, unfortunately may not stop voluntarily, so that's what we're trying to address now."

Biologists say regular feeding of foxes is harmful, because the animals come to rely on human-supplied food, and could starve if that supply is cut off.

The city plans to move ahead with its education campaign, MacDonald said. That should start in a few weeks.

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