Thursday, October 24. 2019
Caught Red (or Dirty) Handed
Our office has been receiving a lot of calls about wildlife, specifically raccoons, entering into open buildings that are under construction.
As winter approaches wildlife are looking for a warm den site and when they come across a building that is under construction, they will happily welcome themselves inside. Unfortunately for the construction company, there is no easy way to keep the wildlife out until the building is completely closed in.
Our company is often called upon to remove animals from buildings under construction to prevent them from being locked inside when the building envelope is sealed. We can often apprehend a raccoon using our catch pole and place them in a trap for safe transport outside. In these situations our company policy is to release the raccoon, or any other animal on site, usually in the backyard.
We also receive calls from homeowners witnessing wildlife on their property, requesting the trapping and relocation of the animal, even though the animal is just passing by. Legally, in Ontario, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation act stipulates that wildlife can only be relocated up to 1km from the capture site.
The majority of the public thinks that if the problem animal is trapped and relocated and the number of animals in the neighbourhood is ultimately reduced, then the problem will go away. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The vacancy created by moving an animal out of the neighbourhood presents an opportunity for other animals in the vicinity to move in to take advantage of the existing food and shelter. Since no overall reduction in the number of animals will be achieved in the long run, trapping and relocation is nothing but an exercise in futility and a waste of time and money.
Below are a list of reasons why trapping and relocation should not be used as a method of wildlife control.
• Trapping creates orphans by taking a mother animal away from her dependent offspring.
• Wildlife will do anything to escape the confinement of the trap, often causing serious self-injury and sometimes death.
• Relocating wildlife away from their known food sources and shelter causes stress and starvation.
• Studies have shown that trapped animals can die of stress related causes even days after being released.
• Dumping wildlife into the territory of another animal can end up in vicious territorial fights over food and shelter.
• Transferring a sick animal into a population of healthy animals spreads infectious diseases.
• Exposure to adverse weather conditions and inconsistent monitoring of the traps while confined can kill the animal.
Please speak-out against the inhumane use of traps as a means of wildlife control!
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.