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Thursday, August 11, 2022
Editorial: Use proper channels to make change

Canada is great.

And one of the reasons it is, is because we're able to live freely as long as we do so within a reasonable set of laws.

After last week's Lake Report story about hunter Randy Norris, who has legally been hunting coyotes in Niagara-on-the-Lake for decades, many readers were vocal in saying they don't agree with sport hunting.

And The Lake Report agrees. It seems like senseless killing. If farmers do indeed need coyotes culled to protect livestock, there's evidence to suggest non-lethal methods of controlling livestock predatation are more effective. Some of those methods include guard animals, fladry, chemical repellents and protection collars.

In fact, there's even evidence to suggest killing coyotes as a form of control can lead to compensatory breeding, actually making the problem worse. Some scientists suggest coyotes will increase their litter size by when the population is threatened.

“In an unexploited population, you might have two or three survive. But when you exploit or kill a coyote population, you ensure the survival of almost the entire litter,” says Robert Crabtree, founder and chief scientist of Yellowstone Ecological Research Centre and coyote advocate, in a video for Project Coyote.

Another article from National Public Radio, suggests though the U.S. government culls tens of thousands of coyotes annually ro protect deer populations, that it isn't the most effective way. Some states have even made it mandatory to include non-lethal approaches to managing coyotes.

Nature works in mysterious ways.

But even though emerging science suggests killing coyotes isn't an effective means of control, what we don't agree with is people actively seeking out confrontation with coyote hunters or calling the police every time they're seen doing something that's legal. The arguments likely won't lead anywhere positive and amount to a waste of police time, because they have to show up to every gun-related call.

Instead, anyone who doesn't agree with coyote hunting should take their concerns to elected officials and use the proper channels to try to make change.

Use the science and bring your voice to the table in a meaningful way. Wasting police time is not going to get anyone anywhere.

And if you spot someone trespassing on your property, gather evidence. Film a video, rather than creating confrontation. Real evidence could greatly help in laying charges against potential trespassers. But, until then, police can't do anything.


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