Posts Tagged 'Saskatchewan'

No idea

Five horses shot since March on Kawacatoose First Nation.

“I don’t even know what to think. I have no idea what’s happening,” said Machiskinic. “That was all my tamest horses that were killed and the kids ride them. We have been asking around and nobody knows anything.”

The horse killings have not only left Machiskinic and his family shaken, but has also caused great concern among the community.

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.

 Cross-province sport

 Forty-one coyotes found dead in Elkwater farmer’s front yard.

And although it’s legal to kill coyotes for a cross-province bounty, the Alberta government doesn’t support it.

“We would not condone that kind activity of course,” said Knight.

But some, like animal advocate R.J. Bailot, say bounties need to be outlawed.

“It’s no longer a protection of their livestock, it becomes a sport of how many animals can be slaughtered and then these people are getting paid to do it,” said Bailot.

If caught, the only penalty the hunters could face is for littering, which carries a fine of up to $500.

Flip flop

Saskatchewan ends coyote bounty.

An estimated 23,000 coyotes were killed as a result of the bounty program. But there are still plenty of coyotes in the province, Bjornerud said, adding that he sees them almost every weekend when he returns home to his constituency in rural east-central Saskatchewan.

While he defended the old program, Bjornerud said it will be discontinued effective March 31. It could be re-introduced in the future, following a final evaluation of its success and a continuing evaluation of the number of coyotes in the province and the problems they are causing.

The initiative announced Thursday will pay farmers 100 per cent of the market value of livestock killed by coyotes or other predator animals.

Better educated

Saskatchewan SPCA sees increase in complaints about horse neglect.

Complaints often come in from neighbours or people driving along the highway if the horses are close to the roads, say SPCA staff.

“Years ago, people never used to phone in complaints. Now society is no longer tolerating animal neglect and abuse,” said Howden. “Society as a whole is becoming better educated.”

The problem is not restricted to Saskatchewan, said Howden.

A representative from the Alberta SPCA confirmed the number of horse seizures in that province is also on the rise.

Missing symbol

International Union for Conservation of Nature says governments must find places for bison to roam free.

The bison is a symbol of what went wrong more than a hundred years ago, but with effort it can also be emblematic of strides to make things right, says Locke.

“I think this animal is so deeply symbolic and people care about it from coast to coast,” he said.

“It’s such a symbol of how we messed it up in the 19th century and we can make it better in the 21st.”


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