Whitmer vetoes bill on bird feeding over deer fears

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan prosecutor calls state gun laws 'woefully inadequate' 65M women could lose abortion rights in Supreme Court case Judge orders pro-Trump election lawyers to pay 5,000 in sanctions MORE (D) on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have let people in rural parts of her state put out food for birds to eat even if it also attracted deer and elk.

Whitmer cited state laws intended to prevent the spread of disease from deer in vetoing the measure introduced by state Rep. Ken Borton (R). The Michigan Farm Bureau opposed Borton's bill, The Associated Press reported. 

It's not illegal to feed birds in Michigan, but residents in rural areas are supposed to take steps to prevent bird feed from attracting deer, such as surrounding a feeder with wire or make sure it is six feet above the ground, the AP noted. 


Borton’s bill would have taken away legal action that could be placed on residents if they feed birds where deer could travel. 

Borton had a case against him more than a decade ago where he was accused of feeding birds and causing deer to congregate, although the case was dropped, according to the AP. 

The bill “would cast aside sound disease management principles,” Whitmer said in her justification of vetoing the bill. 

She said along with harming agriculture and hunting, it would hurt state efforts to keep animals apart and from spreading disease.