The fur is flying! Brant County (located near the city of Brantford, Ontario) is being lobbied to help bring back a provincial (and extremely controversial) coyote bounty program. The county has been seeing an increase in the number of coyotes and council has directed staff to research various ways of reducing the population.
In a recent article in the Brantford Expositor, former Brant County warden and farmer Mabel Dougherty was quoted as saying, “The most effective way is to have a bounty.”
While we appreciate Mabel’s frustration with predators lurking around her farm, coyotes are here to stay. Trap and kill all the coyotes you want and shortly after more coyotes will simply move to the area. Studies also show coyotes can adjust their amount of offspring produced – birthing more babies when there are less coyotes nearby.
If Brant County wants to crack down on coyotes, it first needs to crack down on local citizens who are intentionally or non-intentionally feeding these animals.
Non-lethal alternatives work
Rather than supporting a bounty, we suggest that Brant County adopt an education program for local farmers and residents.
Hazing is also helpful. This includes activities that humanely make coyotes more afraid of people, recharging their natural fear. (ie. bang pots and pans, throw balls, spray coyotes with a garden hose, wave arms and act aggressively.) Coyote hazing changes coyote behaviour.
The city of Vancouver has a living with coyotes program and it is a great example of how we can co-exist. There are also many resources for farmers on how to live with coyotes.
Speak out against coyote bounties
Please politely urge Brant County Mayor and Council to use non-lethal strategies to manage local wildlife.
Send your comments to Jayne Carman, Clerk & Coordinator Council Committee Services for Brant County at email@example.com and ask her to forward them to Mayor Rob Eddy and Council.
You can also contact each council member directly through Brant County’s website.