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Gassing rodents is just not right

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 06:00 am

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We were flabbergasted to hear that the City of Airdrie gasses the community’s Richardson ground squirrels with carbon monoxide and then fills in their holes in the spring. (See story on page 7).

When we first received a phone call from a resident telling us about this practice, we thought to ourselves: “There is no way the City would gas and kill living beings,” but it is true.

Jeff Hughes, integrated pest management technician with the City, confirmed crews have been doing this in the spring for three years.

Although we understand the process of using gas is more humane than other techniques of killing the animal and it eliminates the chance of dogs or children being trapped or poisoned that is present with trapping methods, the City is still slaughtering creatures because someone has determined they are a nuisance and that is unacceptable.

What harm can the small animals possibly do? Yes, they dig holes in sports fields and that can cause a tripping hazard for local athletes. However, many of the areas Hughes confirmed that crews are gassing are not sports fields (such as the grass area outside Tim Horton’s on Main Street and Yankee Valley Boulevard, the green space near Co-op across the street and the cemetery).

On May 22, we ran a story about the City’s catch-and-release program for bothersome beavers. Who decides that one animal should be protected and relocated, while another can be gassed in their homes and buried?

Gassing rodents for convenience is just not right and this process should be stopped.


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