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Council strongly supports upcoming Canada Geese cull, but only at Desert Park and Osoyoos Golf Course
The Town of Osoyoos will continue its efforts to try and control the local Canada Geese population by allowing for a controlled cull, despite some objections from animal rights groups.
The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) endorsed the town’s goose management plan and a permit was received for the town to kill up to four individual adult birds per week with restrictions that a blind and decoy cannot be used and the geese can’t be kept by the hunter, said Janette Van Vianen, the town’s director of financial services during a presentation to Town of Osoyoos council on Tuesday.
The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls in Oliver has been contacted and they agreed to take some of the geese and this is acceptable under the permit, she said. The permit also only allows the hunt to take place at the Desert Park horse racing facility and the Osoyoos Golf Course and no exceptions will be allowed.
A local hunter was approached and he agreed to carry out the work at a cost of $30 per goose, which would cover his license, shells and fuel. A further request was sent to CWS asking they allow the cull to increase from four to 10 adult geese per week and this was approved and a new permit was received as of August 1.
The cull is now ready to begin and the chosen hunter will contact the golf course and Desert Park management before he enters their property to conduct the hunt.
The hunter will be required to keep a detailed report that must be submitted to the CWS indicating the number of birds killed and where and how they were disposed of. This report must be submitted within 15 days of the expiry of the permit.
Staff will return to council in early December with a report on the progress of this project.
Coun. C. J. Rhodes said despite a few complaints from animal rights organizations and some citizens, he believes the cull is necessary and appreciated by local residents.
Thousands of Canada Geese flock to this community every spring and fall and they leave huge amounts of bird droppings on private and public property and into Osoyoos Lake, he said.
“We’re just trying to make our community a little bit safer by going ahead with this,” he said. “We’re trying to control what has become a real problem in this community.”
Mayor Stu Wells agreed.
The CWS would not have granted the permit if the cull wasn’t done in a professional manner, said Wells.