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The Weather Network
Sep. 20, 2021 | Monday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Some farms use alternatives to invasive noise of bird cannons

Dear editor:

For many Niagara residents, the Civic Holiday weekend is an unfortunate milestone.

It’s when some of our Niagara farmers start their practice of using bird cannons again, 120 decibels of unstrategic explosions starting every day at around 5:45 a.m.

If the dawn-to-dusk blasts weren't enough, some have added acoustic distress devices so there is no respite from the invasive noise. The detonations and squawking are relentless and being used even if there’s not a bird in sight.

Hundreds of town residents are concerned about this unnecessary and excessive noise pollution, and yet some farmers hide behind an archaic policy created over 23 years ago.

Modern technology has created silent and very effective solutions, yet these farmers lack the motivation to try new innovative solutions that would ultimately benefit our environmental ecosystem.

We have innovators in our community that we can look to as best-in-class examples. Wineries like Ravine and Southbrook have embraced silent solutions and have set the benchmark on how the farming community, and their resident neighbours, can live in harmony with one another.

We were happy to read that town council is looking at the the issue of noise from fireworks and noise complaints from short-term rental properties.

I hope these initiatives would also apply to those of us who must endure unwanted noise from bird cannons for up to five months.

I welcome any member of council to visit our neighbourhood to really understand the impact of these unrelenting bird cannons. Last year we endured over 90,000 blasts from dawn to dusk. (And don’t worry about showing up too early, every day starts with a thunderous cannon blast well before 6 a.m.)

Our own province defines noise pollution as “... any form of sound that disrupts a natural ecosystem or causes a person’s property to become unusable or unpleasant.”

The province also continues to say that, “noise pollution may have negative impacts on human health, including loss of sleep, increased stress levels and hearing loss, in severe cases.”

Pollution is pollution. No exceptions.

​Bob Oleksiw