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The Weather Network
Nov. 26, 2020 | Thursday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: It's time for bird bangers to be regulated by town
Letter.

Dear editor:

The time has come ... bird bangers need to be regulated.

I believe it is time to revisit the issue of bird bangers on a municipal level and finally get some action on this item.

My family were grape growers for many years, so I completely understand the issue of bird predation and realize bird bangers are a useful tool.

I fully support grape growers in my neighbourhood finding useful ways to manage crop protection. However, the core issue is education and policy enforcement.

Bird bangers need to be registered and monitored to ensure they are being used properly and following neighbourhood etiquette. Enforcement needs to happen at the municipality level.

Criteria such as number of bird bangers per acre, ensuring rotation, volume and frequency between activations are some the elements that should be enforced.

There is nothing else like bird-bangers that can affect someone else's outdoor enjoyment or cause potential property devaluation. These farmers feel they have carte blanche to do as they wish when the only recourse for citizens is a lengthy, drawn-out  process to appeal their use. The irony of the appeal board is it is presently comprised of six fellow farmers. This is not a very unbiased third party.

If my grass is too long – the town will intervene because of a municipal bylaw

If I have trash on my property – the town will intervene because of a municipal bylaw

If I am too noisy as a normal resident –  the town will intervene because of a municipal bylaw

This is not about getting the grape-grower farmers up in arms. Most of the farmers are using the bird bangers properly and fairly. But it's those few who don't know how to set them properly (or don't care) that I'm speaking to. 

Yes, bird bangers are considered a normal farming practice, when executed properly. Tractors are also considered a normal farming tool, but can you image if I operated my tractor at full throttle for 30 seconds every three to four minutes of the day, from August to October, sunrise to sunset, seven days a week? What would my neighbors say?

As I write this letter, I have calculated that my neighbours and I have been subjected to over 80,892 cannon activations since the beginning of August, when the firing started.

Does this seem normal to anyone? Something needs to be done as it is causing a great divide between our farmers and residents, both vital to the growth of our communities in Niagara Region. 

Someone on council needs to step up and bring a motion forward so that the municipality can have some enforcement rights on this issue.

And before you think I moved into a farming area from Toronto and just like to complain, I have lived at my present address for the last 46 years and pre-date any grapes and bird bangers by many, many decades. 

Bob Oleksiw
NOTL

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