Two Nanaimo pensioners say they are committed to their challenge against a city bylaw that prohibits deer feeding.
Warren and Veronica Burford were in a Nanaimo court room on Tuesday in their effort to fight a long list of municipal bylaw infractions for feeding their neighbourhood deer. The two have been cited as violating a city bylaw that prohibits the feeding of deer.
Despite being on fixed incomes, the Burfords say they will fight the offences - which could mean fines that total up to $16,000 each.
"It is a bit of a civil disobedience," Warren told the Daily News. "We feel that it's a little bit abusive to try and go after us for a problem that existed in the city before we got here."
Nanaimo's Animal Control Bylaw prohibits the feeding of wildlife like deer and rabbits.
According to the city's bylaw manager, eight properties were identified as possible offenders when the legislation came into force. The ticketing system stamped mostly out the practice, but the Burfords stand accused of continuing to flout the bylaw. They deny the claim.
A conservation officer recently had to euthanize a cougar in the Burford's Icarus Drive neighbourhood. The animal had been hunting deer in the area.
"We are bringing up every legal challenge we can," said Warren. "We're just pensioners on fixed incomes; we can't afford any expensive lawyers."
The two secured an adjournment on Tuesday and have yet to enter a plea.
They planned to call on the city to provide a large amount of paperwork and might seek a further delay in the matter.
The city's usual avenue for dealing with offenders is the bylaw ticketing system.
For the Burfords, the city has turned to the courts to obtain an injunction to stop the two from feeding deer.
"We have to up the ante by seeking the help of the courts," said bylaws manager Randy Churchill. B.C. Conservation officer Steve Ackles said feeding wildlife is a serious problem.
"When you have a big deer population, you're definitely going to have predators," he said.
The Burfords are expected back in court on Nov. 12.
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