I am a country girl, and CEO of a company in Embrun, who pays substantial personal, property and corporate taxes. I am responding to Mr. Van Dusen’s article about the wolf and coyote cull and would like to add my voice to the animal activists and ratepayers who are defending the coyotes and wolves from what could turn out to be a national embarrassment – I refer to the recent slaughter of sled dogs in BC.
If the rest of the civilized world knew that there are contests being held in the region surrounding the nation’s capital where animals are being slaughtered for prizes, people would be outraged. I am! And I do not support the cull.
But then again, I don’t support shooting dogs that happen to trespass on my property disturbing the peace, tranquilty and safety of my property and animals or of myself for that matter. I say that because just a few years ago, I was downstairs washing clothes on the most beautiful, peaceful Spring morning when I suddenly heard a commotion of yelping, squawking and hissing. I literally flew outside into total chaos and confusion.
Six or so hunting dogs were chasing my animals and barking non stop – and there were no owners in tow. I added my voice to fray, howling and yelling at the top of my voice while I chased the dogs off. Fur and feathers were flying everywhere, cats were running up trees and my little hen was nowhere in sight, I feared the worst. But at no time during this fray, even when I believed that my little chicken and my two geese had been killed, did I even consider that those dogs should be harmed. They were just being dogs and I didn’t hold that against them or the hunters, for that matter, even though I don’t support hunting.
I’m not immune to the pain and frustrations of the farmers who lose livestock to coyotes, wolves and other predators. I, too, have lost my beloved pet chickens, cat companions and pet geese to predators, My pets were like family members and I was heartbroken that I couldn’t save them. But I would never want to harm the predators for trying to survive just as i would never shoot a dog that wandered onto my property.
Living in the country comes with a price. Farmers can’t control the weather, and sometimes they can’t control predators. We are encroaching on the territory of these animals and they have nowhere else to go.
Coyotes and wolves are just trying to survive much like we humans. If we can tolerate only the ups of country life and not the downs, the option is there to move to the city. The 2500 bounty, the shot gun prize, proceeds for the gala dance and various other prize monies associated with this unkind event, would be better spent funding a humane solution to the problem and helping sheep farmers like to defray the costs of good animal husbandry. In fact if the organizers of these events decide to create humane community events to help the farmers, they can count on my support. I’ll even rustle up support, volunteers and ideas. But it boils down to live and let live.
Karin Walkey – Crysler, Ontario
With the support of many friends in both Ottawa and Toronto and family in Calgary
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