Target: Charlie Parker, Minister of Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Stop using taxpayers’ money to fund the cruel trapping and killing of coyotes.
Nova Scotia, Canada, has an estimated coyote population of around 8,000. The provincial government has recently announced that, during the 2011-2012 hunting season, 3,340 coyotes were killed. The government, in an attempt to reduce aggressive coyote behavior, encourages trappers to kill the animals by offering to pay $20 per dead coyote.
However, as Adrian Nelson, Director of Communications for The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, has pointed out, ‘there is no scientific evidence to support that trapping and killing coyotes will make them avoid humans.’ Trapping and killing some coyotes does not alter the behavior of the remaining animals. Dr.Simon Gadbois, a professor at Dalhousie University who specialized in canid behavior, agrees with Adrian Nelson, and has stated that the only way to increase coyotes’ fear of humans would be for them to experience something negative and be able to directly associate that experience with humans. However, trappers commonly take steps to reduce the association of the trap with humans. If they do not take steps to disguise traps, then coyotes will avoid them. So even the few animals that do survive being trapped don’t learn to associate the negative experience of being trapped with humans.
One thing that is scientifically proven is the impact that killing thousands of top level predators can have on the environment. Coyotes are beneficial predators, commonly feeding on small pest species such as rodents. Farmers in many areas have learned deterrent techniques that can teach coyotes not to kill livestock animals. Deadly conflicts with humans can often times be avoided by simply educating the local citizens.
At $20 a coyote, the government of Nova Scotia paid $66,800 of taxpayers’ money to coyote trappers this year alone. That’s tax money that many local residents feel could be used in much better ways. Furthermore, many people feel that the traps being used to capture coyotes are cruel. They present a danger to other non-target wildlife species, domestic pets, and even humans. Some types of traps are designed to capture animals, but not kill them. This means that the captured animal is at the hunter’s mercy, often times left to suffer the pain and stress of being caught in a trap for hours before they are found and usually killed by the trapper.
By signing this petition, you are asking the government of Nova Scotia to stop using taxpayers’ money to pay trappers to cruelly and unnecessarily trap coyotes. Killing these animals is not only unnecessary, but the methods used to trap them are cruel and dangerous. Coyotes are beneficial predators and killing them by the thousands will likely cause environmental issues. Ask the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources to utilize more humane methods, such as educational programs, to reduce the numbers of human/coyote conflicts.
Dear Charlie Parker,
Last year alone, the government of Nova Scotia paid $68,800 of taxpayers’ money to coyote trappers, despite the fact that many experts, and the taxpayer’s themselves, have spoken out against the coyote cull. There is no evidence to suggest that trapping and killing coyotes will do anything to alter the animals’ behavior. Furthermore, coyotes are beneficial predators and killing them in large numbers will most likely result in environmental issues. Trapping and killing coyotes is not only ineffective, but the traps used to capture them are inhumane and dangerous.
Please consider using taxpayers’ money to fund coyote educational programs rather than the killing of innocent animals. Coyotes are a common predator species in many areas. Educational programs have been shown to reduce the numbers of human/coyote conflicts in many of these locations. There’s no reason why these same methods shouldn’t work in Nova Scotia as well.
[Your Name Here]