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News Item - Letter

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 experience, demand.

Sincerely,


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)

 

 
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