Let bleeding hearts bleed

Chalk up another victory for the bleeding hearts.

On Monday night, Guelph-Eramosa council decided to support its environmental stewardship committee’s recommendation to disallow trapping along municipal waterways. While there are legitimate reasons to support such a decision, the committee – as noted by local trapper Paul Parkinson – did not seriously consider those reasons. Instead, without even reviewing the facts, its members chose to act on what appear to be Utopian views of the world and ill-informed beliefs about trapping .

The resolution passed by the committee states it is concerned about the protection of wildlife in a “stressed ecological and increasingly urbanized area.” That is the exact flawed thinking that has already upset the delicate human-wildlife balance to the point where wild animals cause thousands and thousands of dollars of damage to local crops, waterways, and roads at an alarming rate. It has also meant considerably more animal-vehicle collisions on our roads, which put human lives at risk.

As the number of herbivore animals increase – largely due to the decline of hunting and trapping – so does the number of carnivores (as evidenced recently by increased sightings of coyotes throughout Guelph-Eramosa), which also impacts farmers. Not far behind – as any expert will tell you – are the parasites and diseases.

It is unclear exactly why they insist on viewing hunting and trapping as moral issues, but what the bleeding hearts will never  understand is that the key to protecting “the integrity of the bio-diversity of the watershed” – as well as the physical and financial well-being of local residents – is to maintain or even increase current levels of hunting and trapping, not decrease them.

Council seemed to pass the buck by sending the issue back to the committee in the first place. Only councillor Doug Breen made reasonable arguments against trapping on municipal waterways. He is right; a trapper should not be allowed to make a profit (regardless of the size) off municipal land – nor should anyone.

But Monday’s decision is a dangerous step towards outlawing trapping altogether in the township. That would be a disaster, but maybe then the bleeding hearts would see the error of their ways.