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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Letter: People with disabilities cant escape bird cannons

Dear editor:

I would like to respond to the past articles and letters in The Lake Report regarding the issue of bird cannons.

Firstly, to the gentleman’s response about using cannons in the 1950s: They used DDT and other deadly sprays as well. Research is there in black and white. Did it help? Does the use of loud bird cannons make the wine taste better?

Is this why some of you support the use of these obnoxious and toxic units?

If so, then please come sit with me with a bottle of bird-banged grape wine so that I may clearly understand and taste the difference.

We also invite you to come to our home from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 16 weeks of the year and tell me how calm you feel at the end of the day and I can guarantee you I know where that bottle of wine will end up.

We won’t even touch Niagara wines, especially if we know that the grapes came from growers using bird cannons.

To this day we are still being affected by the mistakes, misconceptions and bad choices made by growers, using so-called deterrents, whether they are pesticides or cannons to aid in growing crops.

Bird cannons are not the solution.

I personally prefer to live in a clean, quiet area without feeling threatened by the very folks that originally farmed to grow food.

Bird Cannons are the DDT to our health. They are rude, scare wildlife, are unnecessary and do not help to feed the people.

So, before you accuse someone of cooking their own goose, ask yourself how can one cook a goose that isn’t there because the bird cannons scare them as well.

It shocks me how some of you are truly cynical of someone’s human right to live in harmony.

We have activists that want to stop the horse carriages because they feel it is not fair to the animal. Maybe we need to alert those animal rights activists to  how the bird cannons are without a doubt scaring all the wildlife in our community, including those of us humans who have moved here for a quiet life.

For myself, it is not OK to sit here day in and day out for 16 weeks to have to be exposed to this noise.

I am a writer and musician and a major part of my day needs to be dedicated to create and to rest. It is my livelihood.

Did I mention that I am disabled and in a wheelchair? Part of my healing is to meditate to clear my mind, how can one do this when they are exposed continually to the sound of bird cannons?

We live above Line 9 and Tanbark and have five growers all with cannons going off continually throughout the day.

I cannot just get up and drive away to get away from the noise. I cannot even sit on our porch to breathe the air and enjoy the beauty around me. The sound of the cannons literally shakes me.

Continuous cannon blasts do affect one’s health in many ways. If my wife needs to go out she literally has to put headsets on me to deaden the sound of bird cannons so I may rest.

Would all of you who support the use of bird cannons like to be in my shoes or chair for a day to learn how it feels to be violated continually.

I have the right to become well and the use of bird cannons is literally paralyzing me.

I am not looking for pity. I ask that those of you that support or use bird cannons understand clearly the impact that this has on those of us who do not have the ability to change our situation and that we too have the right to be safe and happy.

You have the power to change this. There are other ways to deter the birds.

I have the right to live out the rest of my time in peace. Please respect that.

Ray Auld

NOTL