More veterinarians speak out against MNR proposals
that will eliminate help for wildlife in Ontario
February 8, 2005
Premier Dalton McGuinty
1795 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1H 6N1
Dear Premier McGuinty
I am writing to you as a veterinarian in private practice in Ottawa and a
resident in your riding and as Vice-President of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife
Centre, with regards to the proposed changes to be made to the Wildlife
Rehabilitation Program, specifically EBR Registry Number PB04E6022. The
wildlife rehabilitation crisis created by the Ministry of Natural Resources
has been made worse by the new regulations. My fear is that the new
Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) will eliminate what little help is left
for wildlife in Ontario.
Veterinarians have worked closely with the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre
for the past 15 years because it provides, by far, the safest and best
outcome for the public and for wildlife. I practiced as a veterinarian in
Ottawa for 10 years before the OCWC came into existence and I remember what a
terrible situation we had then and I donít understand why we are returning to
that state again.
When the public finds injured or orphaned wildlife they only have two
options: either leave them where they find them or else have them euthanized
at their expense. A third and illegal option which many concerned residents
feel is the only real alternative is to care for these animals themselves.
As a veterinarian familiar with wildlife, I do not believe that it is
appropriate for the public to be handling wild animals. Animal bites along
with a range of parasitic diseases that can be contracted by an
unknowledgeable and unprotected public are the concern.
With no wildlife rehabilitation, people who find wildlife will naturally
call a veterinarian with the expectation that they should be able to help.
Most veterinarians donít have the expertise to deal with wildlife problems
and most will not want to euthanize healthy wild animals. Veterinarians are
animal lovers so are not in the business to euthanize healthy animals. If a
veterinarian doesnít have the knowledge to help or doesnít want to euthanize
a healthy animal or entire litter of healthy animals, it will certainly
appear that they donít care Ė and that isnít true.
The current Ministry of Natural Resources regulations must be changed to
bring back responsible care for the wild animals who desperately need our
help, as well as reflect the humane response that the public, in our
Dan Rodgers DVM
Alta Vista Animal Hospital
2616 Bank St.
Ottawa, Ont., K1T 1M9
c.c. Hon. David Ramsay
Philip McNeely, Lib. MPP (Ottawa Orleans)
Madeleine Meilleur, Lib. MPP (Ottawa Vanier)
Jim Watson, Lib. MPP (Ottawa West Nepean)
John Baird, Con. MPP (Nepean Carleton)