Thursday, February 1, 2007

A Response to my Letter to the Editor

Today's Chronicle Herald had a response to my letter to the Editor from a couple weeks ago. I'm not going to send in a reply because I'm not interested in pissing contests. I don't have the energy. But I'll say something here because I always have something to say.

Here's the letter that was in today's paper:

Reality check

Joan Sinden’s letter (Jan. 23) shows her love of dogs, but sadly shows how uninformed most people are to current realities of rural life. Posting a sign to eliminate trapping on property, as the Department of Natural Resources wants you to believe, will do little, if anything. Joan and others shouldn’t depend on current DNR regulations to protect their children and pets.

Assuming signs aren’t torn down, they must be understandable and spaced closely enough so trappers can’t say they were "unable to see or understand" them. The average rural property (75 acres), with approximately 10,000 feet of property line, needs over 200 signs, 50 feet (15 metres) apart. Each must say "NO TRAPPING-SNARING," and give owner’s contact information. That’s $1,000, without labour! Signs must be on the owner’s property and as many properties aren’t surveyed, add $5,000 to get a survey.

Landowners shouldn’t have to spend any money to protect their children and pets from these dangerous devices. DNR must make it the trapper’s responsibility to get landowners’ permission to put deadly devices on their land.

The department’s website, puts ALL responsibility on dog owners for their pet’s safety and shows how the regulations render landowners nearly helpless to stop traps being placed on their property.

Leo & Marina Fregeau, Mill Village

I suppose that I really don't know anything about rural life, as I've never lived in the country - living in Amherst up in northern Nova Scotia where I grew up is the closest I've come to living in the country. But I assume that buying land anywhere in Nova Scotia you have to go through the same process as you would in the city - and when I bought my house here in Spryfield, I got this thing called a "Surveyor's Land Claim" thingee which loosely outlined where my property line is. I keep a copy of mine on my fridge - which you can see above - because of my asshole neighbour who keeps his dog chained outside all the time. One of the first things he said to me after I moved in was that a fence separating our properties was that the fence "was about 2 feet over onto his property" - which according to that surveyors sheet - is incorrect. So I keep that thing on my fridge in case he ever starts getting "testy" about it.

So a person doesn't need to spend $5,000 surveying their land - they just need this piece of paper, a bunch of nails, some of those black and orange signs that you can buy at Walmart, or wherever - and off you go. I really don't think I'm living in la la land.

I think that some people just really try to make life difficult for themselves by putting up roadblocks for everybody and making things sound impossible.

In the Fregeau's last paragraph they say that the document puts all responsiblity onto the dog owner's - well I generally DO take full responsibility for my dogs' whenever we go anywhere - so I don't have a problem with that. The issue is whether we should allow our dogs' off leash or on leash when they're in the woods with us - because they'd be at such a great risk of getting caught in traps if we let them off leash.

The reason why I say my dogs' feet aren't any different than my feet is because when we're in the woods together - they stay with me - they're never anymore than 10-20 feet away from me - they stay on the trail - or, if we're off the trail, which is something I like to do - they stick close to me. So I stand as much of a chance of getting caught in a trap as they do.

So if we're ever out and going off trail - I hope that it IS me who gets caught in the trap - it'll make for much more interesting news coverage, that's for sure. Especially if it happens to be on the Fregeau's property.

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