Environmental Groups Oppose Agriculture Canada's Plan to 'Relocate' Coyotes

OTTAWA, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - The announcement by Agriculture Canada that they've hired a professional company to capture and relocate coyotes at the Experimental Farm is receiving strong opposition from environmental groups.

"The Experimental Farm is part of federal land holdings in this region that encompass large natural areas. If wildlife is not accepted here, just where are they accepted?  Agriculture Canada needs to implement a more progressive and humane approach to coexisting with wildlife. This should include adopting non-lethal conflict resolution and best farm management practices," said Donna DuBreuil, president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

The group is doubtful about the relocation as it is nearly impossible to live trap a healthy coyote. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits such relocations. So, it wouldn't be the first time that the reference to 'relocation' ended up with a dead coyote in a kill trap.

"Why would Agriculture Canada remove coyotes from a natural area where they are expected to be found?  Where will they be relocated?  Ministry regulations require that wild animals be relocated no further than one kilometre from where they were captured," said Liz White, leader of the Animal Protection Party of Canada.

"Removing a coyote with the intent of 'relocation' during the critical pup rearing season is not a sustainable or humane solution", DuBreuil continued.  "Coyotes are regularly seen in the large natural areas that are part of federal lands. It is their habitat. Educating tenant farmers on the Greenbelt and agencies like Agriculture Canada is essential to ensure compatibility in protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainable agriculture.

"The City of Chicago, City of Toronto and many other cities across North America, have vibrant coyote populations living within their urban core. Chicago recently passed a by-law protecting coyotes because it values the important role they play in the urban ecology. You would think Ottawa, the nation's capital, with such extensive natural areas, would be at least as progressive", said Liz White.

White and other members of the group opposing the plan to relocate coyotes are hoping that Canada's 150th celebration will prompt Agriculture Canada and other agencies responsible for wildlife management to embrace the increasingly popular concept of learning to enjoy living with wildlife.

SOURCE Animal Protection Party of Canada

For further information: Liz White, Animal Protection Party, Tel: 416-462-9541 - Ext. 23, Email: liz@animalprotectionparty.ca; Donna DuBreuil, Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, Tel: 613-726-8178, Email: ocwc@ncf.ca

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