Ban The Cruel Gassing Of Underground Wildlife In La Canada Flintridge

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Dear City of La Canada Flintridge or whomever it may concern,

I am humbly asking that the city enlist a ban on the cruel process of killing underground animals such as (but not limited to), ground squirrels, moles, gophers, and rabbits, through carbon monoxide poisoning. When poisoned, an animal slowly suffocates, in most cases causing them to struggle and gasp for air as they slowly die from carbon monoxide poisoning. The state of California has banned using carbon monoxide gas chambers on domestic animals in shelters since June of 2016. The law clearly states, “A person, peace officer, officer of a humane society, or officer of a pound or animal regulation department of a public agency shall not kill an animal by using either of the following methods: (1) Carbon monoxide gas.” This is due to the fact that poisoning animals with carbon monoxide gas in inhumane and causes an animal a great deal of suffering. I am asking the city of La Canada Flintridge to extend their compassion and animal welfare laws to wildlife, and create a ban on using poisonous gas to kill burrowing animals.

Using carbon monoxide gas is not only a cruel and outdated practice to force animals to suffer through, it poses a large risk to the human citizens of La Canada. Carbon monoxide can easily escape from underground into the air without anyone able to detect a difference in air quality. Carbon monoxide gas is colorless, odorless, and unrecognizable to the naked eye. However, exposure to carbon monoxide, and carbon monoxide poisoning in humans can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, increased heart rate, fatigue, low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, delirium, hallucinations, unsteady gait, confusion, seizures, central nervous system depression, unconsciousness, respiratory arrest, myocardial ischemia, atrial fibrillation, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, high blood sugar, lactic acidosis, muscle necrosis, acute kidney failure, skin lesions, and visual and auditory problems. With more severe poisoning, symptoms may include, short-term memory loss, dementia, amnesia, psychosis, irritability, speech disturbances, Parkinson's disease-like syndromes, cortical blindness, a depressed mood and even death. Carbon monoxide is also highly flammable.

As prey animals, creatures like ground squirrels, moles, gophers, and rabbits, are very easy to scare into moving into new burrows away from a La Canada resident's backyard. Reflective tape and shiny and mirrored objects generally scare animals that burrow away with a high success rate. When a prey animal senses a constant threat to their surroundings, they are extremely likely to move somewhere else where they feel safe. This can easily be done without harming them or adding potential threats to the human citizens of La Canada. Empty water bottles can also provide a whistling noise in the wind, and other forms of noise distraction prove to deter burrowing critters. Underground animals like moles also tend to hate sweet smells underground, so planting plants like hyacinth bulbs make them want to leave their underground homes. Humane live trapping techniques are also a successful alternative. Once the entrance or exit of the burrow is determined, placing a live trap with a food bait is a safe way to catch an animal. Once caught, La Canada’s expert animal control officers can easily transport these animals to a setting away from residential homes, where they can thrive without human disruption.

Ideally, leaving these innocent animals alone is the most respectful way to coexist with them. Burrowing animals greatly benefit the environment, and help our plants and gardens thrive. Most of the things they do to survive are essential to our ecosystem, and overall better our backyards. For example, ground squirrels are responsible for planting hundreds of beautiful new trees each year, by forgetting where they buried their nuts. Rabbit droppings are also packed with nutrients that naturally fertilize plants and help them thrive. And moles eat and disturb insects underground that eat away and kill the roots of plants. All burrowing animals are also highly beneficial to our gardens, as their burrows allow oxygen, sunshine, and water to reach a plant's roots underground.

In conclusion, poisoning La Canada wildlife with carbon monoxide is a dangerous and highly inhumane way to remove wild animals from undesirable burrowing spots. I am asking the city of La Canada Flintridge to take a progressive step in the right direction of animal welfare, public safety, and environmentalism, by banning cruel “pest” control methods and encouraging La Canada residents to use humane and non-invasive methods to remove wildlife from their homes.