Posts Tagged 'Nova Scotia'

New opportunity

John Sorenson on a plan to bring the seal hunt to Sable Island.

Unsurprisingly, the fishing industry – which blames seals for the problems the industry itself has created, namely the decline in fish stocks – is vigorously promoting this deadly plan. Also cheering it on is the Fur Institute of Canada, which says the problem is not the massive, uncontrolled commercial fishing that has almost emptied the world’s oceans, but rather the institute’s favourite target – animal rights activists. Both the fishing and fur industries will seize any opportunity to promote the killing of seals, no matter how irrational.

Speciesism 101

Michael Valpy on the coyote’s problem.

Image of God, or imago dei, is the theological doctrine that humans are created in God’s image and therefore have inherent value independent of their utility or function, something not awarded to coyotes but underscoring how we think of them.

Thus in the competition between humans and coyotes for space and goods, coyotes get trumped because they look like evil dogs and don’t have souls (or guns) despite ranking high in the hierarchy of sentience, the capacity to feel pain. Their moral weight is further reduced on government websites, where they are labelled predators, pests and nuisances.

No impact

Nova Scotia introduces coyote bounty six months after Taylor Mitchell’s death.

But Ms. Mitchell’s mother says her daughter, who lived in Toronto, would not have supported such a program.

“Taylor would not have wanted this to happen, and for them to be using her as the reason for it. And neither do I,” Emily Mitchell said in an interview. “There is a problem with wildlife and human contact, and we need to find a solution to it. But I don’t think that this is the solution.”

The announcement was a reversal for the Department of Natural Resources, which said on its website this month that such an approach would have “no impact” on the coyote population.

Under pressure

Nova Scotia to offer coyote bounty to trappers.

Critic Leo Glavine pointed out that the minister’s own website includes submissions from biologists who cite scientific studies that prove bounties don’t work.

“They’re telling us that it’s not the way to go,” he said, adding that live-trapping of individual nuisance animals is the best way to deal with the problem.

As well, he said the minister has already conceded that the province suspended offering a bounty for coyotes in the 1990s when it became clear it simply didn’t work.

Glavine said the province has been under pressure to act since the mauling death last fall of a Toronto woman who was hiking in Cape Breton.

No cull

Nova Scotia to respect, rather than cull, coyotes this year.

“Education is most important,” said Mike O’Brien, Natural Resources wildlife biologist. “We must encourage our children and neighbours to follow these guidelines and keep in mind, coyotes are wild animals and deserve our respect.”

No control

Biologist tells Nova Scotians coyotes are here to stay.

Coyotes’ after-dark, spine-chilling howling sessions are reminders that they are wild animals, to be left alone or we deal with the consequences, he said.

“We’re part of nature,” Bancroft said. “We don’t control nature.”

New law

New Animal Protection Act becomes law in Nova Scotia.

The new laws mean that vets no longer have to fear court reprisals from owners for telling the SPCA that animals they are treating appear to be abused, says Nova Scotia SPCA executive director Kristin Williams.

It is similar to the law that requires doctors to report suspected abuse of children.



Yann Martel's Beatrice & Virgil


Trevor Herriot


Erika Ritter


Toronto's cat problem


Don LePan


Don LePan's Animals


Justine Pimlott's Cat City


Erika Ritter's The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath