LETTERS [Dec 1997]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1997:
The Wildlife Services division of the
USDA, formerly Animal Damage Control,
recently published findings from a study using
lithium chloride balls as an aversive conditioner
Lithium chloride is an emetic. It
causes the coyotes severe vomiting. It has
been used in Saskatchewan and Manitoba for
over 30 years with excellent results. It does
not kill coyotes––just trains them to avoid certain
food sources. In Canada, ranchers inject
45% lithium chloride into dead sheep, placing
them in areas that coyotes frequent. Coyotes
learn to associate sheep with violent illness,
and therefore avoid sheep.
Wildlife Services biologist Ray
Sterner evaluated lithium chloride at a facility
in Millville, Utah, leased from Utah State
University. Eight adult male coyotes were
captured from the wild, housed in cages about
the size of a large pet carrier, and fed 10.5
ounces of dry dog food every three days (my
miniature dachshund eats five ounces a day).
Sterner used a 33% lithium chloride solution.
Thus the coyotes were unnaturally
stressed, half-starved, and given a dose of
lithium chloride a third weaker than the formulation
used successfully in Canada.
Insufficient lithium, however, instead of
causing vomiting just salts the carcass, thus
making it more attractive.
Sterner concluded that in “real
world” situations, lithium chloride doesn’t
work. His trumped-up study thereby reaffirms
Wildlife Services’ traditional view that the
only way to deal with coyote predation is to
Write to your Congressional representatives
to protest, and please contact us for
additional addresses to write to.
Wildlife Damage Review
Tucson, AZ 85754
I was saddened to see Lynda Foro’s
October guest column, “Just killing isn’t
humane work,” essentially drawing a line in
the sand between shelters that euthanize and
no-kill shelters. The American Humane
Association has sought not to do that, but to
work with all agencies that strive to help
homeless and rejected pets. The spirit of collaboration
that was celebrated at the No-Kill
Conference cosponsored by AHA in Denver in
19956 appears to have dissipated, and I’m
afraid the animals will be the losers, as they so
often are when humane groups start pointing
fingers at one another. Let’s hope the future
brings a rebirth of respect among all groups
who are doing the best they can to give our
pets a better future. ––Carol Moulton
American Humane Association
Right on, Lynda!
Lynda Foro’s recent guest column,
“Just killing isn’t humane work,” was excellent.
We operate a no-kill shelter, a policy I
started when I became president 10 years
ago––a policy the people of our county obviously
approve of, because we have been able
to raise enough money to completely renovate
our shelter, add a cat wing that allows 200
cats to live in and out of their cages (the limit
before was 25), add a room for humane education,
build an equine and farm animal barn,
enclose a five-acre paddock, convert our
garage into a puppy/small dog room, and
build another barn in the spring.
While the Humane Society of the
U.S., American Humane Association, and
most of the other national humane groups
remain threatened by the change of opinion
underway among the public, no-kill shelters
do work, and this is the wave of the future.
Since most of us volunteer our time and
money, the animals benefit from the funds we
raise: it doesn’t go for cars, high salaries,
etcetera. The old get-them-off-the-street-andkill-them
philosophy hasn’t worked. Wouldn’t
you think they would support another option?
The Hunterdon County District SPCA
Milford, New Jersey
A couple of nights ago, on our local
news, the anchor mentioned in an off-handed
way that in 18 months Minnesota may be
allowed to vote to hunt wolves because they
were successfully re-introduced and now
I am so tired of “caring” people trying
to “manage” nature! It’s an endless cycle
of “kill wolves,” then too many deer; “kill
deer”; re-introduce wolves; too many
wolves; “kill wolves.”
Is it just human nature to try to
“manage”? Is there anything you can suggest I
do to help keep people away from “managing”
wildlife? I don’t necessarily want to either
protect or ignore wildlife––I just believe in
God and the ability of all of nature to correct
itself, if left to its own resources.
Roadkill short course
I’m teaching the first college credit
course in Maryland on animal history and
treatment. The Fund for Animals recommended
your web page. I can’t believe I didn’t find
it sooner. Anyhow, do you have information
that I can pass to my students on how to handle
a roadside emergency involving an animal?
I get that question all the time. I want to know
what someone should do if they accidently hit
a deer, or a dog, or cat, or whatever. I know
what I would do after sizing up the situation
and seeing if my emergency equipment could
handle it. But we desperately need something
on this for the average person who doesn’t
carry rescue equipment and hasn’t been trained
in using it. Thanks loads and I love your indepth
comprehensive articles. Nice job!!!
––Joseph E. Lamp
SPCA of Anne Arundel County
Basic items to keep in a car trunk
include a thin board big enough to use as an
animal stretcher, heavy gloves, a heavy cloth,
and a few feet of lightweight rope.
Animal Care Equipment & Services
Inc. sells a wide range of more advanced res –
cue gear: for a catalog, call 800-338-ACES.
There are many good books on first
aid for animals, but we won’t presume to
teach veterinary medicine without a license.
What one most needs to help a road-injured
animal, however, is to have a cell phone
handy, to get good advice specific to the situa –
tion, because otherwise a 30-second compas –
sionate act can turn into 30 months of costly
misery if someone misreads the situation.
What you’re even allowed to do may
vary widely depending on whether the animal
is classified as wildlife, livestock, or pet.
Many states do not allow anyone other than
game wardens and licensed rehabilitators to
handle injured wildlife. We often hear of
would-be Good Samaritans being prosecuted
for trying to rehab wild animals themselves,
or of veterinarians who won’t treat widlife for
fear of losing their license––and of poachers
who jacklight deer, drive over their legs, then
pretend they’ve picked up roadkill.
Livestock and animals presumed to
be pets are private property. If you hit live –
stock, or see injured livestock, normally you
must report the find to the owner, or get wit –
nesses that you tried, before removing or dis –
patching the animal. Otherwise, you may be
prosecuted as a rustler.
Laws usually permit a concerned
person to take an injured dog or cat to a vet
first, then seek the owner—but note that you
may be held responsible for any unauthorized
treatment, and if the animal is euthanized
without the owner’s permission, we’ve occa –
sionally seen such cases prosecuted as theft.
Finally, if you expect to handle roadinjured
animals, get rabies pre-exposure vac –
cination. Roadkills and road injuries of
wildlife skyrocket in rabies areas because the
feverish victims often wander into traffic.
Halt hunters’ hanky-panky
Hunting and trapping seasons in
Iowa have been gradually lengthened by a day
or two every year. The bureaucrats who set
them have cleverly used a fact of the calendar,
which is that dates will move ahead one day
every year, or two days ahead after leap year.
They say, “We want the season to start or
stop on a Saturday or Sunday, or the first of
the month, or the last of the month, rather
than on weekdays,” so there is always an
excuse to go one way or the other to lengthen
a season a little. This has gone unnoticed by
Since 1979 in Iowa, 13 days have
been added to pheasant and quail season, 34
days have been added to fox season, 27 days
have been added to raccoon and opossum season,
25 days have been added to squirrel season,
37 days have been added to jackrabbit
season, three days have been added to the
shotgun deer season, 28 days have been
added to the archery deer season, 16 days
have been added to the muzzleloader deer season,
and 27 days have been added to the
furbearer trapping season.
New hunting seasons include a
handgun season for deer, youth hunts for
pheasant, duck, and deer, and a “bonus
late season” for deer.
Coyote season is open all year.
Similar changes have probably been
made in every state. N o w, before the 1998
legislative sessions begin, tell your state representatives
to put people into wildlife management
authority who are not hunters or trappers
or in cahoots with them. Tell them to get
people into top policymaking positions who
will not try to create or sustain huge populations
of live targets by upsetting the natural
male/female ratio and killing natural predators.
Make them roll back season lengths to
what they were in 1979––or shorter.
Ask them to initiate bills that will:
• Outlaw wearing white camouflage
while hunting in winter, and outlaw wearing
any kind of camouflage while hunting or trapping,
unless on one’s own land.
• Force all hunters and trappers to
wear blaze-orange jackets during all hunting
• Require hunters to tell landowners
or renters if entering their property.
• Require hunters and trappers to
carry written and signed permission from
landowners and tenants, with severe penalties
for any forged or counterfeit papers.
• Make it the duty of law enforcement
officers to initiate charges against armed
• Outlaw the possession of CB
radios while carrying firearms or in motor
vehicles while hunting.
• Increase the penalty for shooting
into private property without permission
and/or trespassing while armed to a felony.
Hunters commonly shoot into private property
where they don’t have permission to hunt,
attempting to scare animals into property
where they can hunt.
• Require all traps to be checked
every 24 hours or sooner. Laws saying only
that animals must be removed within 24 hours
of being caught are unenforceable.
• Outlaw trapping within 300 yards
of inhabitated buildings.
• Stop wildlife divisions from managing
“game” species so as to increase their
populations. It would be better to have fewer
animals and not have then killed and wounded
for so-called sport.
• Outlaw the practice of hunters
parking on the roadway while searching fields
with scopes or binoculars. This is a serious
vehicular safety hazard.
• Require all box and tubular gun
magazines to be unloaded and encased while
in motor vehicles.
• Outlaw the use or possession of
any center-fire long-range rifles while hunting
any kind of wildlife. Outlaw them except
within one’s own property. They are a hazard
to the public, with an extreme range of more
than two miles.
• Require hunters and trappers to
carry adequate liability insurance.
• Force wildlife divisions to stop
lengthening hunting and trapping seasons,
and stop opening new ones.
• Require a criminal background
check before issuing a hunting license.