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Letter: Moose under assault

Moose in Gros Morne.
Moose in Gros Morne.

This submission is in response to a recent article in The Telegram. SOPAC (Save Our People Action Committee) has once again succeeded in lobbying the government to increase the roadside hunt on the Avalon Peninsula to reduce moose populations along the highway. Moose are driven onto and close to the highways this summer in part because of the new hydro transmission line which runs adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway.

The population estimate of 114,000 moose is grossly inflated, as everyone and anyone who is engaged in the outdoors can tell you. Misguided bureaucrats and politicians are being successfully persuaded by SOPAC to significantly reduce our moose population through backdoor tactics, as it were.

Instead of embracing and protecting this magnificent species, we are attacking this species because moose are regarded as a pest. SOPAC, which has now infiltrated government with elected politicians, is gaining ground. They use propaganda tactics akin to the tactics that Greenpeace so successfully demonstrated. The moose population is now a third of what it was a decade ago, thanks in large part to the effective efforts of SOPAC. We are a humble people who take matters on the cheek. 

This type of attack on moose is not unique to this island as, globally, wildlife is being subjected to increased pressure as a result of the human footprint. Imagine a vehicle colliding with an elephant or a giraffe. New superhighways in Africa are putting tremendous stress on all large animals.  

Here is a copy of statistics from British Columbia, alone.

Past wildlife vehicle collision records demonstrate that in a typical year in B.C. it is estimated that:
• 5 people are killed
450 motorists are injured
• $700,000 is spent by the Ministry of Transportation for highway cleanup
• 6,100 animals are recorded as killed
• 8,300 animal deaths go unrecorded
All figures are mathematical averages, obtained from past records of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation.
No doubt the government has a responsibility to protect drivers from moose vehicle collisions, but killing or culling moose is not the solution. We need to protect ourselves not from moose but from our driving habits. Education is the key to a solution.

Reginald Boyd Winsor

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