Friday, August 15, 2008

Dept of Natural Resources Minister - David Morse - has irked me

There's an article in today's Chronicle Herald about the raccoon problem and it quotes the minister of Natural Resources David Morse - and he's blaming the dogs for any negative interaction between dogs and raccoons and they're the reason why they might get any disease from raccoons. So I wrote a letter to the editor about it.

Here's my letter - and then I'll post the article:

I titled the letter - "It wasn't Benson's Fault he died!"

I think that David Morse has been rude to every dog owner in the HRM.
In an article in today's article about raccoons and how to manage
their menace (Critter Ridder) he blamed the dogs for the problems when
there's been an interaction between pets and raccoons - saying to
owners to keep their animals vaccinated, "under control" and to "not
let them run wild".

I don't think Mr. Morse read last week's article where it said that
the problem isn't with the raccoons - it's with their URINE. Benson
didn't die from fighting with a raccoon - he died from ingesting it's
urine. And vaccination gives owners a false sense of security - there
are over 200 subgroups of the bacteria known to cause leptospirosis -
and the vaccine only covers a couple. As for running wild - I paid
$6,000 to fence in my backyard to keep my dogs SAFE - and yet they
encounter raccoons almost nightly because my neighbour doesn't store
their uncomposted garbage correctly. So they might be licking urine
constantly and I don't know it - and I have no way to protect them.

This disease is also zoonotic - doesn't anyone care about that? It
can be transmitted to humans. Neither dog or human has to actually
touch a raccoon - just like Benson. Stop blaming the easiest thing -
which is ALWAYS the dogs.

To Mr. Morse I say - "please control your raccoons!"

Joan Sinden

Critter ridder
Morse suggests we keep our compost in the fridge

Do you have problems with raccoons and other animals getting in to
your compost? Try freezing or refrigerating the stuff before you put
it out, suggests Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Minister David Morse.

Natural Resources Minister David Morse has some advice for people
having problems with raccoons and other wildlife getting into curbside
compost bins.

"In our household, we actually put the scraps in the refrigerator
until the night before," Mr. Morse told reporters after meeting with
cabinet Thursday morning. "We put things like chicken scraps, as an
example, in the freezer.

"Then we put it out in the bin, and it's going to be less fragrant and
therefore less attractive for the scavengers."

A metro woman whose cocker spaniel died from a disease it contracted
through raccoon urine recently criticized Mr. Morse's department for
failing to do enough to control the wild animals.

Pat Skeir of Cowie Hill told The Chronicle Herald last week that her
neighbourhood is infested with raccoons, but Natural Resources advised
her to rent traps and release the creatures into the wild herself if
she wanted anything done. Otherwise, she would have to hire a

Mr. Morse said his department's best advice for the public is to avoid
putting out bait for wild animals such as raccoons, "whether that's
their compost bin, whether it's bird feeders."

"Just think about what you're putting out because they're scavengers,
and they're going to come looking for easy food sources," he said.

"Animals just see that as an invitation to dinner, and do not put out
that invitation unless you want them to come."

Mr. Morse also said people should get their pets vaccinated and keep
them from running wild.

"Please control your pets," he said.

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