Rockland enacts seagull feeding ban

Posted June 12, 2012, at 11:19 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The City Council gave final approval Monday night to an ordinance that will ban people from feeding animals to the extent that it creates a public nuisance.

The approval came after complaints from several residents two months ago that they could not enjoy their homes because of a neighbor’s daily large-scale feeding of seagulls.

The rule will take effect July 11.

The vote was 4-1 with Councilor Larry Pritchett recommending that more fine tuning be done on the matter.

The ordinance states that no person shall feed any animal on private or public property if it creates an unclean, unsafe or unsanitary condition.

Residents Harry and Beatrice Earl of Camden Street Terrace asked for approval of the ordinance, saying there had been a period of not having a problem with seagull droppings after the city formally warned their neighbor about her feeding of seagulls. But, they said, the seagulls have returned in the past week.

There was no opposition voiced by the public on the ordinance during the council’s Monday night meeting.

Pritchett said Tuesday that the city needs some type of ordinance to address these situations, but he is concerned the proposed ordinance would be difficult to enforce.

For example, “how many slices of bread are too many?” Pritchett asked.

He said he also is concerned that people could be ensnared in the ordinance inadvertently, such as if a skunk takes up residence in a compost pile.

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