Sanity in Kelowna!
Our Ban the Cannons group has been following the situation in Kelowna very closely, and last week the BC Farm Practices Board rendered their decision in the case of Jim Wright and the residents of Lakeview Heights vs A. Lubchynski, (below,right), owner of Beaumont Estate Vineyards.
Mr. Lubchynski's use of propane cannons drew the wrath of his neighbours and they would not put up with it any longer. In some cases Lubchynski had cannons positioned very close to his neighbours' residences and he refused to move the cannons or use other bird deterrent methods, so the residents were forced to appeal to the Farm Practices Board. For more details about the problem, please see our Kelowna Page.
On August 12, 2002, the Farm Practices Board handed down their decision, and sanity prevailed! Severe restrictions were placed on Lubchynski's ability to use cannons. If you wish to read the full text of this decision it can be found on the Farm Practices Board site at the following internet address: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/ministry/fpb.htm
The following is a summary of the conclusions of the Board.
Lubchynski was ordered to modify his bird scaring practices for the subject property as follows:
- limit the number of cannons on the subject property (of 12 acres) to one cannon
- commence firing the cannon no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and cease firing the cannon no later than 8:00 p.m.
- within the hours permitted above, fire the cannon only when and as much as necessary to protect the vineyard from bird predation.
- permit the cannon to freely rotate. (The guidelines recommend that the cannon not be directed towards the neighbours' houses, however here, there is no real option.)
- move the cannon location at least every four days.
- limit the maximum number of cannon shots to those set out in the Bird Scare Devices Report.
- legibly mark their audible scare devices with their name and phone number in accordance with the guidelines.
- use other bird predation measures in addition to propane cannons, such as human activity, visual deterrents, or other scare devices on the property.
- implement a netting program to begin in this 2002 season, such netting to be completed within a reasonable time period.
What more can we say except "fantastic"!! Now if only the Ministry of Agriculture would apply the same kind of thinking in the Fraser Valley, and help out all of us who are suffering at the hands of abusive blueberry farmers and their propane cannons. Please Mr. van Dongen, give us a break as well.
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