Pen should be mightier than the dog

Pen should be mightier than the dog Re He Had The Right To Kill Dogs, Says Shooter (News, June 26/09): Without warning to the guardian, John Teertstra, of Tagish, shot two dogs, Bella and Dakota. He'd said he caught them in his chicken pen, and apparent

Re He Had The Right To Kill Dogs, Says Shooter (News, June 26/09):

Without warning to the guardian, John Teertstra, of Tagish, shot two dogs, Bella and Dakota. He’d said he caught them in his chicken pen, and apparently he prefers to defend his chickens with a shotgun (apparently “the weapon for the job”) instead of with a solidly built pen and good relations with his neighbours.

It is perfectly legal and widely accepted for people to kill “their own” chickens and dogs, but everyone gets upset when “their property” is harmed by someone else.

Killing dogs is an everyday occurrence in the Yukon; just look at the mushing industry. Most people have the good sense and decency not to kill their neighbour’s dogs, but they are free to kill their own.

How many people eat chicken?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

If the Teertstras are concerned about the well-being of their chickens and turkeys, why is it so easy for dogs to get into the pen? What have they done to prevent future break-ins by domestic dogs and wild animals?

How many foxes, coyotes, wolves, or dogs will the Teertstra’s kill to avenge the deaths of their fowl?

When is enough, enough?

Tony Grabowski (manager of conservation enforcement and compliance) was quoted in the article saying the wildlife act wouldn’t apply to the case of the dogs being shot.

Shouldn’t he be concerned about this situation?

There is potential for human-wildlife conflict if the chicken pen is that easy for dogs to get into.

What about foxes or coyotes?

What happens when they get into the pen?

The Department of Environment has to pay attention to this kind of thing.

Last winter, the conservation officers went out to a farm on the Mayo road to trap wolves because of an irresponsible “farmer” who didn’t take proper precautions, and endangered the animals in his care (and not for the first time).

Will they do the same for the Teertstras when the wild carnivores come around?

I wonder if the conservation officers would be so kind as to volunteer (on paid time, of course) to build the Teertstras a stronger chicken coop?

Then the chickens and turkeys will be able to live more safely until the Teertstra’s decide they are no longer of any use.

Mike Grieco

Whitehorse, Yukon