It may soon be illegal to feed the pigeons in Hoboken, NJ
It may soon be illegal to feed the birds in Hoboken. Or any other form of wildlife.
A proposed new ordinance is buried on page 234 of a 315 page agenda for the upcoming City Council meeting scheduled for May 18.
It's just a single line, reading "No person shall feed birds, rodents or any other non-domesticated wildlife on public streets, sidewalks, parks and/or public places."
Reports of increasing rat, pigeon and geese populations have triggered a growing number of complaints about people feeding the wildlife and adding to the problem.
The city has had signs posted for some time urging people not to feed the animals, but this would codify the ask into a violation of law.
However, the proposed ordinance does not establish any specific penalties or fines.
If approved, the anti-feeding provision would be added to the current list of acts prohibited under the city's "nuisance" provisions, which include everything from spitting in the sidewalk to allowing your dog to defecate in public and not cleaning it up.
A spokeswoman for the City of Hoboken told NJ.com the wildlife population is not only becoming larger, they are becoming bolder as a result of people feeding them, and therefore a greater nuisance.
Wildlife experts say the feeding also does more harm than good. Animals can lose to desire or ability to hunt or scavenge for themselves.
They can also become more comfortable around humans, potentially harming their human feeders as well as exposing them to more vehicle accidents and other threats.