Ocean City to Ticket People $500, Possible Jail Time for Feeding Seagulls
Ocean City has a law against feeding seagulls and they plan on enforcing it. I mean really enforcing it.
The days of being "kind and nice" to seagulls scofflaws are over, according to Mayor Jay Gillian.
Gillian posted a letter on the Ocean City website Friday saying the city's policy on feeding gulls will now be strictly enforced, with police giving out tickets with fines up to $500 or up to 90 days in prison.
That's right, you could be sentenced to three months in prison for feeding a seagull in Ocean City. If that seems a little harsh, the mayor insists the city has decided to take a no-nonsense approach toward those who continue to feed the shore birds.
No question, feeding seagulls is real summertime annoyance, but sending someone to prison for it seems a little extreme to me. What do you think?
Here's Mayor Jay Gillian's website letter:
Dear Friends,I want to remind you all that it is against the law to feed gulls and wildlife in Ocean City. Starting today, this law will be strictly enforced. It includes fines as high as $500 and penalties up to 90 days in prison.The Ocean City Police Department in recent years has taken a “be nice, be kind” approach when it comes to minor infractions related to the beach and boardwalk. They try to issue only warnings. That will change.A small number of people – unaware of the consequences – continue to feed the gulls. We’ve had an increasing number of complaints this summer as the emboldened birds try to take food from people on the beach and boardwalk. For the health and safety of both animals and humans, this must stop.Police Chief Chad Callahan is recording a boardwalk announcement reminding guests of this ordinance, and the city is launching an educational campaign about its importance. The messages will appear in city welcome centers, boardwalk businesses and on social media.Please help us by spreading the word and by never feeding these shorebirds.Thank you,Mayor Jay A. Gillian