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For my friends in Ontario - Phil's Rambling Rants
December 1st, 2006
11:12 pm

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For my friends in Ontario
This story was posted on a mailing list I'm on.  All I know is the local newspaper report -- I assume it's accurate but if you want corroboration or more details, you now have the information I do.  I figure it's probably not really good form for me to complain to a local government official in another country, but I know people who live in Ontario and thus have standing to complain that might share my concern.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recently forced the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to kill five animals in its care with more orders to kill others by the end of the year, according to sanctuary staff.
For more than 20 years the sanctuary, located just north of Rosseau, has cared for wild animals found ill or injured throughout the province in a effort to rehabilitate them until they can return to the wild. Some animals with severe injuries who wouldn’t survive in the wild have lived long lives at the sanctuary.
On October 3, two raccoons, two great blue herons and a great horned owl were euthanized at the sanctuary after ministry officials determined, during a recent inspection, that they couldn’t be returned to the wild due to physical ailments.
There's more, but I don't need to violate copyright by copying the text here.  Here's a link to the full story.

Current Mood: upset
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From:birder2
Date:December 2nd, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)

Wildlife rehab-or not

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Here at the U. of I College of Veterinary Medicine, we have the "Wildlife Medical Clinic", more commonly called the Wildlife Ward. Any injured wildlife in the area (broadly defined as east-central ILlinois) comes in there. An initial assessment is made as to the possibilty of the critter recovering--those that seem to have no chance at all are euthanized promptly. The ones that can be treated are, but there are always those that can become healthy enough to survive in captivity but not to be released back to the wild. What to do with these is an ongoing problem. We try to find homes for them--the 3 screech owls I care for at the Nature Center are examples. There are other facilities that can care for some animals. The clinic itself keeps a very few as "ambassador animals"--used for public education events. But there limits on how many of those we can keep--space, cost of maintenance, personel are all limiting factors. And much as it grieves us, some are euthanized.
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From:tigertoy
Date:December 2nd, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)

Re: Wildlife rehab-or not

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The situation here is not that the wildlife rehabilitator is deciding they have to euthanize, it is the government saying they're not *allowed* to keep animals they can't release. It would be like the government saying that the wildlife ward wasn't allowed to keep its ambassador raptors any more and ordering them killed.
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From:phillip2637
Date:December 2nd, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
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That's an odd article. I worked for MNR for 7 years (during the 80s), in information systems rather than policy or service delivery, but what's being described sounds like something that would have been way beneath their notice as I remember it.

MNR used to be motivated by two things: the standard knee-jerk reaction to anything that might be a political problem or opportunity and, on a more regular basis, managing resources. Resources were considered to be things like the population of fish in all Ontario lakes, the number of square miles of timber in harvesting contracts.... Unless it involved the politically-charged phrase "endangered species", it's hard to imagine the central Ministry having any opinion about individual animals.

Two possibilities come to mind. Since MNR is a heavily distributed organization (about 100 offices when I was there), it's possible that some local fief-lord has a "cunning plan". Otherwise, it's possible that the Sanctuary has made some enemies that were capable of overcoming the Ministry's natural inertia, which mostly happens through the threat of bad press.
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From:pwl1
Date:December 2nd, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I worked with MNR years ago as a clerk (filing fishing licenses), so I can't comment on their policies either. But if this sort of thing was normal, I believe there would have been a LOT of outcry before now. I would agree with phillip2637 in his assessment. We have a wildlife sanctuary near Toronto, and nothing like this has ever happened (to my knowledge). Although, if memory serves - there was one incident of a bear up a tree (in northern Ontario) - in which the bear was shot - I'll have to check that one out because I think it was the local police who did it.

I'm rambling, because I'm upset.
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