The municipality is instituting a feeding ban for animals in public areas as of October 24, 2023. This means that you can no longer feed wildlife within the built-up area. This ban applies to all wild animals, including birds and ducks. However, you may continue to give your pet a reward and you may still feed animals on your own property.

Why a feed ban?

Many people enjoy feeding animals, but it is better for both the animals and the environment not to do so. Where people feed animals, bread and food scraps are left lying around, attracting rats, gulls, pigeons and geese. These animals can cause a lot of nuisance. For example, rats gnaw things to pieces and spread viruses and bacteria. The feeding ban was instituted in the interest of our health.

Not feeding is better for animals

The feeding ban is also important for animals. If there are fewer rats, we need to fight fewer rats and thus reduce animal suffering.

In addition, wild animals become sick or overweight when fed. It is important that animals continue to look for food on their own. If birds only eat bread, they do not get enough important nutrients and are more likely to get sick. Animals can find plenty of food in nature throughout the year. So there is no need to feed them.

Want to know more about rats in Zoetermeer? Then visit

Water Quality

When feeding animals, many food particles end up in the water. This pollutes the water and causes more algae and bacteria to grow. This is bad for plants and animals, so again a feeding ban helps.


The feeding ban applies to public areas. Feeding on your own property is allowed. So you may simply hang bird food in your yard, but keep in mind that this may attract rats. Therefore, do not give too much food so that the food runs out in one day and prevent it from ending up on the ground.

The ban also does not apply to people who reward their pets in public places. Or for people who practice sport fishing and have a valid fishing license or District fishing license.


If, despite the prohibition, you still feed animals in built-up areas, you will be addressed by the special investigating officers (boa's) and given a warning. If this does not help, you run the risk of a fine.

Bread or food leftovers?

Do you have leftover bread or food and don't want to throw it away? Then check out Recipes for leftovers | Milieu Centraal to see what you can make with (old) bread. Cooking with leftovers and leftovers | Voedingscentrum has tips for cooking with leftovers and leftovers.

You can also put bread or food scraps in the GFT bin. This way, the leftover food gets a new use as raw material or biogas. This way, the food does not go to waste.