Illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia

Posted: Updated:
ROANOKE, VA -

From the Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries:

Effective September 1, it will be illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia.

The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' (DGIF) Board has made the following amendments to the deer feeding prohibition:

New this year:
•It is illegal to feed deer and elk in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties at any time

•It is illegal to feed deer or elk in any county, city, or town during any deer or elk hunting season

•All feed must be removed from any deer feeding site prior to September 1st

•A regulation has been established that makes any area where deer feed has been distributed a "baited" area for 10 days following the complete removal of the food.

It is also illegal to feed deer year-round in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the City of Winchester as part of the Department's chronic wasting disease (CWD) management actions.

Problems with feeding deer include:
--Unnaturally increasing population numbers that damage natural habitats
--Increasing the likelihood for disease transmission
--Increasing human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions
--Diminishing the wild nature of deer

In addition, feeding deer has law enforcement implications. Deer hunting over bait is illegal in Virginia. Prior to the deer feeding prohibition, distinguishing between who was feeding deer and who was hunting over bait often caused law enforcement problems for the Department's conservation police officers.

The increase in deer feeding that has taken place in Virginia over the past decade now represents one of Virginia's biggest wildlife disease risk factors. Deer feeding sets the stage for maintaining and facilitating the spread of disease

If anyone sees or suspects someone of illegally feeding deer during this time period, or observes any wildlife violations, please report it to DGIF's Wildlife Crime Line at 1-800-237-5712