City of Toronto staff reveal what they learned about urban raccoons

raccoon TorontoThe City of Toronto has revealed what they believe will the best plan for managing urban wildlife moving into the future. And it may just surprise you.

The Toronto Star has reported that City staff has recommended mitigation of conflict should be based on “human behavioural contributors to urban wildlife issues.”

The report does not include lethal action and was given approval by the Licensing and Standards Committee this week, which means it will soon go before full council for approval.

Also included in the report are recommendations to:

  • Explore and develop a wildlife feeding by-law;
  • Develop guidelines for wildlife proofing of residential and commercial developments; and,
  • Identify possible funding sources to assist the Toronto Wildlife Centre in their mitigation of conflict situations.

The City of Toronto is not the first to identify that non-lethal measures are superior in preventing conflict, though they may well be the largest. And the report certainly shows why.

“Research and best practice indicate that governments/municipalities ought to focus on addressing the human behavioural contributors to urban wildlife issues rather than implement programs that attempt to control wildlife populations,” reads the report. “Experience thus far demonstrates that education efforts and, where necessary, enforcement related to human conduct, may be a more successful long-term solution to human-wildlife conflict versus a cull or wildlife sterilization program, which are either difficult to implement in urban environments, cost prohibitive, or unsuccessful in controlling wildlife populations.”

Read the full report here

Championing this policy shift at City Hall has been Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who worked with The Fur-Bearers in the past to develop non-lethal responses to coyote sightings in the city.

This is a good day for animal lovers across Canada. But more importantly, it’s a great day for fur-bearing animals in the City of Toronto.


Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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