I was recently made aware of Parksville’s consideration of having another goose cull.
I was overwhelmed with calls and emails from concerned citizens who disapproved of the inhumane killing of 484 geese last year. At the time, I sent information on habitat modification to council and advocated against the cull.
Predicting the general course of a cull to simply be more killing in the future, it seems that this process is following the inevitable trajectory. Unlike habitat modification, which makes lasting changes to the behaviour and location of the geese, killing does nothing to stop the population from rebounding and is extremely short-sighted.
This is not just a matter of poor public policy, it is also inhumane. Geese were trapped while they were molting and could not fly away. Reported methods used from the last cull were bolt guns to the head in an enclosed tennis court. There was undoubtedly suffering of the animals and rightful public disapproval.
If a violent act against animals is hidden from public view to be scrutinized and challenged, that should be reason enough to question its legitimacy as socially justifiable.
What needs to be realized is that while another cull is being considered in the short term, going that route will only precipitate another cull as nothing will fundamentally change, except the downward trajectory of the region’s record with wildlife co-habitation.
As a society, when we have an issue with other animals we should never ask ourselves what is the easiest or cheapest solution; that will quickly descend into violent barbarism. What is the best we can do without doing harm? That is the question that will help us live peacefully with wildlife and other animals, and maintain our integrity as a community.
Jordan Reichert, Victoria
Animal Protection Party of Canada