MP’s call for a moose cull is out to lunch

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With all due respect to Steven Fletcher — who’s been paralyzed from the neck down since 1996 when his car struck a moose (”it’s better to run into a brick wall”) — he’s out to lunch.

His letter to the editor (“Moose cull makes sense for road safety,” Aug. 10 Telegram) argues that the “obvious solution is to cull (in other words, kill) all the moose on the island.”

Fletcher is absolutely wrong, and even to suggest the wiping out of an entire moose population (“invasive species” that they are) is foolish.

The best way (not the only way) to curb moose/vehicle collisions isn’t to kill every last animal, but to slow down.

Even then, there’s still risk — that’s the reality of life in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It’s more wild and rugged here than ever with the population shift towards town.

So much of the bay is slowly reverting to its natural state.    

We must adjust to nature, not the other way around. Haven’t we learned from the sea?

If studies show a case for fences in high-traffic moose zones, spend the money and build fences.

And continue with brush-cutting and silhouettes, and perhaps even increase moose licences in certain areas.

As well, renew the debate about cellphones and driving.  It is unbelievably dangerous — deadly even — to operate a phone while driving, and too many of us still do it.

I shook my head when I read Fletcher’s letter to the editor, because he’s not just wrong — he’s dead wrong.  

He doesn’t understand how moose have become part of our culture, diet and economy.

It’s not about human life vs. moose, but about living, mitigating the dangers and learning to live together. The we-brought-them-here, we-can-kill-them argument is ridiculous — as is so flippantly advising to wipe out a population.

It’s unacceptable for an MP (even a Conservative one) to recommend the wiping out of an entire animal population as a serious alternative.

Fletcher’s either an instigator, misguided, or a fool.

Ryan Cleary

NDP MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Mount Pearl

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  • John
    August 15, 2013 - 15:39

    I heard this guy on CBC today. He is long on emotion and short on facts. Can't even believe CBC would have this on, it is so laughable. It is obvious he is acting on behalf of Sopac. They are intent on wiping out an entire species and will stoop to any means to try and achieve their goal. The whole issue which has been fabricated and totally blown out of proportion is just getting annoying now..

  • Brandon King
    August 15, 2013 - 14:10

    Mr. Cleary is dead on with his assessment of the letter in question. A moose cull is not the answer - and a difficult feat in itself to accomplish given the rugged geography and tremendous acreage of wilderness on the island in particular.

  • Frank
    August 15, 2013 - 07:34

    Ryan, for once I agree with you. I think Steve Fletcher's letter was motivated by something other than road safety. I assume he was contacted by Sopac and asked to write in to try and help their stupid crusade to kill all the moose on the island. The talk shows on VOCM are inumdated with repeated calls from Eugene Nippard ranting and raving about moose as if they are the real cause of accidents and deaths on our highways. The stats do not support his outrageous claims. He is a mooseophobe. He sees more moose than anyone on the highway, most of it fabricated to try and bolster his one man crusade. We must learn to live with nature as you suggest as we are all part of it.

  • skipper
    August 15, 2013 - 04:41

    The cod is killed off now lets arm the 12 yr. olds and kill off the moose.I think that you are all going nuts.In stead of spending the time at that. why not spend money and get all the idiots off the roads that owe $1000s in fines ?.Hey you may even make a few bucks.By the way how do I run for the govt. leader?

    • Eli
      August 16, 2013 - 08:13

      Wow, Ryan Cleary must have fell and struck his head, he is actually making some sense for a change. One solution that should be considered is the elimination of hunting zones, this would then allow hunters to spend more time hunting, rather than just a few days in some cases, which would result in higher success rates.