Trapping not the solution

Published 9:34 am Monday, February 18, 2013

To the editor:

This letter is in regards to HB 33 to allow trapping in Polk County.

I am against trapping as a means to manage wildlife in Polk County. Traps are indiscriminate and often injure or kill non-target animals or birds.

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There are non-lethal methods that are used as a long-term solution for managing wildlife.

Coyotes – I researched coyotes, using innovative websites, and found that coyotes mate for life, the alpha pair only breed once a year, their diet consists primarily of rabbit and small rodents – not pets or livestock – confirmed when I interviewed our local biologist, Justin McVay. Justin did his masters in coyotes and I happen to feel that educated knowledge trumps urban myth. Justin said in a year-long study of 300 coyote scat samples using DNA he found that their diet consisted of rabbit and small rodent. A minimal amount of samples did contain white tail deer, feral hog and chicken. No dogs or cats.

So, coyotes self-regulate their population – but, when killed indiscriminately, they over-compensate and subordinate pack members breed to produce more and larger litters. Then they also need more food to feed these litters and may need to change their diet to feed the pups. So – kill them and their numbers increase!

Rabies – in 2011 in North Carolina only two coyote tested positive for rabies. They had the least amount of numbers tested positive. for rabies – less than cows and horses. There are about 11 deaths to humans from domestic dogs in the United States a year – but only one recorded death to a human by coyote in the United States ever recorded in history.

Our local animal control officer, Mike Herman, said I could quote him that domestic dogs cause more harm and death to livestock and wildlife than coyotes.

I have two friends who have cattle farms and they have never lost a cow or calf to coyote – ever. I have one friend who has a horse breeding operation – she has never lost a horse or foal to a coyote – ever.