Shut Down Wildlife Services?
The Times- Standard reports an effort by local animal rights activists to shut down the local Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services. These are the guys that come to your home to remove critters like skunks, raccoons or what have you. I recall Wildlife Services agent Jace Comfort telling me he'd once removed an alligator from the pond at College of the Redwoods.
We called them once. It took a couple of weeks to remove the family of skunks that was living underneath our house. I was grateful for their help and didn't know where else to turn. We'd contacted the Eureka Animal Control officer. She just gave us the usual namby, pampy suggestions of trying to chase the skunks out by making them feel uncomfortable. She never mentioned the possibility of using Wildlife Services to remove them. I felt that was negligent on her part.
We should support Wildlife Services. I hope they stay around. We'll have countless more incidences of animal infestations, along with the related spreading of disease, without them. If there's any problem with Wildlife Services, it's that they're spread so far and few between. I believe there's just one main guy up here, but he has one or two others that cover for him on occasion.
In fairness, I suppose the services they offer could be provided by the private sector, although that wouldn't satisfy the animal rights folks. I've seen a number of outfits like Pesky Critters on the Animal Planet channel that remove all sorts of animals for a fee. I'm not sure how well that would work, though, as many people wouldn't want to pay the fee so would just ignore their animal problems and let things get worse.
I say keep Wildlife Services.