Propane Cannon Defenders
Rob DeMoneıs column and R.M. Strangıs letter defending blueberry cannons (PAN August 24) are both based on a lack of information.
1. No member of Ban The Cannons is against farming. Many members are themselves farmers - even blueberry farmers - and are only against an unreasonable form of noise pollution.
2. Cannon fire not only disturbs people, but other animals as well. Pets, poultry, horses and cattle can become stressed and this can affect other farm production.
3. Many of us WERE here first. Blueberry production has ballooned in recent years as traditional produce crops such as potatoes, carrots and onions have been replaced by mass plantings of the more profitable blueberries.
4. If birds are responsible for 5% to 10% of crop losses, why are farmers so reluctant to install netting that would ensure no bird-related loss?
5. The original PAN story quoted a farmer as saying the cannons didnıt deter birds. An Abbotsford farmer has even speculated that the cannons act as a long-distance dinner bell drawing birds to the fields.
6. Does DeMone really expect someone moving into a home to ask if artillery fire is prevalent in the neighbourhood? Most people have no idea what a blueberry cannon is and I very much doubt realtors or developers would be eager to bring this unique feature to a prospective buyerıs attention.
7. Cannon blasts are louder than almost anything anyone can experience in day-to-day life.
8. Other, more effective and quieter bird control measures are available.
I wonder if DeMone or Strang would be so quick to support the use of cannons if they had to endure thousands of blasts in a day as many Ban the Cannon members do in Pitt Meadows and Abbotsford. Itıs easy to make statements supporting something that doesnıt directly affect you.
In short, artillery fire should not be accepted as a normal farming practice when there are better alternatives.
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