Map: Data on bird-scare device locations show clusters in Matsqui, Bradner

Abbotsford News map shows density of noisy propane cannons in certain rural neighbourhoods.

  • Sep. 26, 2015 5:00 a.m.

This map created with data obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows the location of more than 100 bird-scare devices in Abbotsford.



The map above can be zoomed in on certain areas in Abbotsford to see the locations of registered devices.

Residents of certain areas of Abbotsford have complained for years about the concentration of propane cannons in their neighbourhoods.

Now, information obtained from the City of Abbotsford about the location of bird-scare devices shows just how densely packed the noisy devices are in various rural areas.

According to addresses obtained by The News under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 21 of the cannons are registered in an approximately five-square-kilometre section of Matsqui centred around Fore Road east of Highway 11. Another dozen or so cannons can be found west of Highway 11, with others in surrounding areas in Matsqui.

Another hotspot is Bradner. The data also shows a dozen cannons are registered within two kilometres of the intersection of Bradner and Lefeuvre roads. Further south, there are four cannons registered within one kilometre of one another near the intersection of Lefeuvre and King roads.

Another dozen cannons are located in a five-square-kilometre section of heavily farmed land between Huntingdon Road and 0 Ave, near Bradner and Ross roads.

And on Sumas Prairie, there is a cluster located on the Interprovincial Highway and north and east of No. 3 Road and its Highway 1 interchange.

Other devices are scattered around Abbotsford’s agricultural areas, and it is possible there were more cannons operating this season that have not been registered.

The city fielded 20 complaints so far in 2015, up from just three last year, Mayor Henry Braun told The News in late August. A total of 122 farms in Abbotsford are now registered under the Audible Bird Scare Device Bylaw, which gives the city the ability to enforce rules surrounding the use of cannons and fine those who don’t comply. It also requires farmers using one of the devices to create a bird management plan and post a sign with phone numbers – for city bylaw officers and the Blueberry Council – that can be called by residents who have issues.

The bylaw, though, is limited in its scope, as the use of cannons is protected by the provincial Right to Farm Act and the guidelines surrounding their use are set out by the Ministry of Agriculture. A previous bylaw developed by council was rejected by the ministry in 2013.

To view interactive maps of all the cannons located in the city, visit abbynews.com.

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