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Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:89)

Comment By: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

NYC Parks proposes to amend § 1-04(g) of Chapter 1 of Title 56 of the Rules of the City of New York.  Under the amended rule, individuals will be prohibited from feeding all animals, including squirrels, pigeons, and other birds, in areas under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks.

The purpose of this proposed rule is to:

  • Reduce food sources available to rats and other rodents, which are attracted to all types of food in properties maintained by NYC Parks.
  • Prevent harmful interactions with animals in NYC Parks properties. Wildlife accustomed to feeding lose their wariness of humans and may exhibit aggressive behavior. Animals exhibiting aggressive behavior may then have to be lethally removed and tested for disease.
  • Support the efforts of New York City’s WildlifeNYC campaign to raise public awareness about urban wildlife.
  • Promote compliance with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s guidance, which advises that wildlife feeding disturbs the healthy balance between wildlife populations and their habitats.  
  • Prevent the transmission of disease that occurs when animals congregate around feeding areas. In these areas, food may be contaminated with feces, saliva, and urine, promoting the spread of diseases. These diseases are often fatal to animal populations and some may be spread to humans. For example, a canine distemper outbreak recently led to the deaths over 300 raccoons in New York City’s parks.
  • Support healthy wildlife nutrition and behavior. Food given to wildlife does not contain the nutrients needed by New York City’s wildlife and deters them from seeking the natural foods—like insects and plants—with nutrients they need. Young animals fed by park patrons may not develop properly and may lose the instincts needed (such as hunting and foraging) to survive on their own.
  • Reduce the maintenance burden on NYC Parks staff responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment for park patrons.
  • Promote compliance with existing prohibition on feeding in NYC Parks properties.
  • Clarify § 1-04(g) of the NYC Parks rules


Pelham Fritz Recreation Center
18 Mount Morris Park West
New York, NY 10027

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