City of Southfield enacts ordinance prohibiting feeding deer

March 14, 2022

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The City of Southfield has amended Chapter 113, Animals, of Title IX, Police Regulations, of the Code of the City of Southfield by adding a new section, Sec. 9.90, Feeding Deer Prohibited, Ordinance No. 1748, which was enacted by City Council on March 7.

Combined with other wildlife management strategies and recommendations from the City of Southfield’s Wildlife Advisory Commission, the purpose of the feeding ban ordinance is to eliminate deer attraction, aiming to reduce the depredation impacts on residents and to assure the safety of the traveling public on city streets. A complete copy of the ordinance may be obtained at the Southfield’s City Clerk’s Office, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield, Michigan 48076 or viewed online at

Ordinance No. 1748 addresses recreational feeding and high deer populations that can result in the destruction of residential landscaping and gardens, as well as pose a threat to public safety by increasing deer and automotive accidents. Per the ordinance, no person shall place or permit any grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay, or other edible materials less than five feet above the ground surface, unless these items are screened or protected in a manner that prevent deer from feeding on them. Prior to the issuance of a citation for violation, the city will first issue a written warning giving notice of the penalties as stated in Section 9.88 that could be imposed if the violator fails to cease and desist feeding deer.

Exceptions to the prohibition include veterinarians, city/county animal control officers, parks maintenance staff, county, state, or federal game officials that are within their duties, have a deer in their custody, or a deer under their management. Persons feeding domestic animals or wild birds with properly maintained feeding containers or devices, the use of straw-related material for landscape purposes, or the use of plant material for decorative seasonal or holiday purposes between September 1 and December 31 are also included as exceptions to Ordinance No. 1748.

The Wildlife Advisory Commission was established in June 2020 to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of the residents and visitors to the City of Southfield. The Commission’s mission is to develop and propose wildlife programs and other recommendations to City Council that require a multidisciplinary and an inter-governmental approach involving residents and the many wild animals that live within Southfield’s borders.

For more information, contact Southfield’s City Clerk’s Office at (248) 796-5150.