LETTER: Solution to ABSDs must be found now

Too many years of talk and planning has so far resulted in no changes

I am writing you once again as the berry season is upon us. For years, there has been lots of talk surrounding the use of ABSDs (audible bird scare devices) within the city. There’s been talk of a stricter bylaw to enforce the use of these devices, trapping and alternative methods to these devices, hours and hours of meetings and time put into this, but in the end, nothing has changed, nothing has been physically done, to this point, it’s all just been talking about doing things.

My family has been farming here since 1942. Never, ever, in all those years, have we ever used such invasive methods of farming. We value our neighbours’ health and our own. ABSDs seriously decrease the quality of life and health to those living around us. I know that all of you are aware of the health reports that speak of how unhealthy it is for people to be exposed to ABSDs.

This summer, for the first time ever, I’m going to be going to school in July and August completing my post-degree studies. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to get through it. The farms surrounding us all use propane cannons and orchard pistols. It works out to shots going off multiple times within one minute. The noise wakes me up with a start in the morning and continues into the night after I get home. It’s a war zone. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to study or write. I know from past summers that there is little hope of being able to concentrate with blasts going off that make you jump each time.

Something needs to be done. Something needs to change. All levels of government, municipal and provincial, together with the BC Blueberry Council and berry growers are equally responsible to see that farming practices used are friendly to the community.

A. Howard

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