Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colorado Town Preparing to Slaughter Prairie Dogs

The town of Frederick, Colorado is planning a mass slaughter of thousands of prairie dogs. In fact, the carnage has probably already begun. Local officials recently decided to begin the extermination of two large colonies of the sociable ground squirrels from undeveloped land on March 5, having hired an extermination company which plans to use the chemical aluminum phosphide to treat the burrows (the article states that the chemical is aluminum phosphate, but that is probably an error).

One of the victims

But what is even worse is that the town is forcing resident landowners to participate in this slaughter. As of March 1, residents who have prairie dogs on their land are required to "remove" the prairie dogs. After a 30 day warning period, the residents will be fined up to one thousand dollars if they have failed to remove the animals. This means that even if the landowners have no objection to the prairie dogs living on their land, and even if they do morally object to killing the animals, they have to go along with the execution or pay the exorbitant penalty.

There are many reasons to oppose this law. Prairie dogs are sociable, intelligent animals that will suffer horribly as they are killed. They occupied the land long before the town of Frederick existed. The chemicals that will be used are not only cruel, but can also damage the environment and threaten the health of other species including humans. And even if the town leaders insist on carrying out this act on municipal land, to force landowners to participate in this killing is even more contemptible. If you agree, you can sign a petition directed to the town leaders of Frederick, CO asking them to reconsider this act.

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