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Letters — for 2012-09-20 00:00:00

What about donkeys?

Your Sept. 13 story on coyotes by Daniel Winters featuring comments by Gord Schroeder, director of the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board, did not say anything about the efficacy of donkeys as anti-predator guards for sheep.

Was this an oversight, or does Mr. Schroeder not regard them as worth mentioning?

In this area some sheep raisers use dogs, others donkeys. I would be interested in a review of their relative merits, with discussion on how each fits into flock size, varying terrain, costs of acquiring good stock, and how much cost and effort are required in day-to-day upkeep and supervision.

Bob Waldon

Cartwright, Man.

New attitudes reject accepted practices

I’d like to compliment the two letter writers in response to Laura Rance’s comments that address the ongoing negative perceptions of the hog industry held by the layman.

In the Sept. 13 article, “Solutions being sought,” the vice-chair of the Manitoba and Canadian Pork councils said that producers have good facilities, they’ve got great management, great production, great genetics but then the price of corn goes up. His comments are made in conjunction with the current concerns about the rise in corn prices due to drought and the impact on producers’ ability to feed their hogs.

However, his apparent acceptance of existing practices completely belies the reality that the purchasing public no longer feels the same way. The standard practices held to be acceptable by producers and their continued resistance with the accompanying silence regarding change is resounding.

Public opinion is driving food chains and restaurants to accept their meat only from facilities that no longer use sow stalls. I guess that will be the driving factor for change in Manitoba.

Leslie Yeoman, Co-founder,

The Humane Education Network

Winnipeg, Man.

Open letter to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship

I fully support a ban on cosmetic pesticides. Pesticides are dangerous substances and must be applied only by trained operators. All children and pregnant women must be kept away while the chemical is active.

I have strong concerns that cosmetic pesticides are being applied carelessly and that children and pregnant women are being exposed to dangerous chemicals without their knowledge and consent.

I have seen pesticides abused by too many people who should have known better. I have seen pesticides applied in schoolyards, while children played close by. I have seen pesticides applied by parents while barefoot children followed alongside. I have seen pesticides sprayed into rivers and even into drinking water reservoirs. The labels on pesticide containers strictly forbid such actions, and yet the warnings are ignored.

There is no way to protect the vulnerable from careless pesticide use, except for imposing a strict and complete ban on all cosmetic pesticides in Manitoba. Cosmetic pesticides should not be available for sale to the general public. Pesticides should only be applied by trained and licensed operators. All areas where chemicals are applied should be fenced off and posted to exclude children for the length of time stated on the warning label.

I am a responsible farmer and I fully support a ban on cosmetic pesticides in Manitoba. We owe it to our children.

Kate Storey

Grandview, Man.

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