Don't get that bread: Whitehall bans feeding ducks, geese

Whitehall's ordinance to ban the feeding of waterfowl was approved Sept. 1 and takes effect immediately.

Whitehall City Council adopted emergency legislation Sept. 1 that prohibits the feeding of waterfowl.

The ordinance was passed as an emergency at its first reading with no discussion by the five present council members.

As an emergency, the ordinance is effective immediately.

It was introduced Aug. 25 at Whitehall’s council committees meeting.

The ordinance states in part, “No person shall feed, cause to be fed or provide for domestic or migratory waterfowl within the city of Whitehall.”

The ordinance defines domestic waterfowl as “non-native ducks, geese (and) swans (not) retained in agricultural operations.”

It defines migratory waterfowl as those who make regular annual movements between two or more places for food resources or breeding.

The Canada goose is included in the feeding ban.

Whitehall City Council president Tom Potter said the ordinance was advanced Aug. 25 to the full council for consideration Sept. 1.

“The plan is to pass it on the first reading,” Potter said last week.

As council president, Potter does not vote and was absent Sept. 1.

Council members Lori Elmore and Larry Morrison also were absent. The ordinance passed 5-0.

The ordinance, requested and prepared by Mayor Kim Maggard and approved by city attorney Michael Bivens, contains emergency language causing it to become effective immediately on its passage.

″(Our) current city code (does) not regulate the matter,” Bivens said. “Based on reports from (our) code enforcement, the city determined our code should have it in an effort to deter the activity.”