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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 38 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID Thursday, June 14, 1973 IY0 prejudice here No prejudice in the animal world is the title of this photograph from England and exhibited in an internation- al photography show in Sofia. But you can't tell that to an impala trying to outrun a lion. [t's all legal Popular songbird beins mass-killed ELGIN. XB. They're mass-killing Canada's most popular soutiiern New Brunswick, and the program is sanctioned by hoth federal and provincial ernmenls on the grounds that the birds are causing heavy damage to the blueberry plains. One grower alone saj's he destroyed birds last year on his 200-acre farm using a shotgun. This fertile farming area, just a few miles northwest of Fundy National Park, is the centre of blueberry growing in the province. Proceeds from the industry, the focal point of which is the harvesting pericci of August- September, bring about to this area each year and for that reason it's a major industry. But in recent years, small birds, particularly robins, have been feasting on the ber- ries and so farmers have re- sorted to mass slaughter. As the berries ripen, the blueberry farmers take down their shotguns and shells and OPTICAL PRESCRIPTION CO. head for the fields where they become involved in a six-week shooting spree. FORCED TO SHOOT It's not illegal. The farmers have proiinwal permission to earn" firearms and federal licences to shoot the robins, which are migratory birds. Ordinarily, migratory birds are protected. One man recalled in an in- terview how last Sept. 2 he and his son went into the fields while harvest was under ay and fired 18 boxes of am- munition at the robins before the day ended. Hundreds fell from the-trees but still others came back. Farmers say a robin will eat up to a quart a day of blueberries and the shooting is done to protect their indus- try and keep it going. "No one agrees with shoot- ing the birds but if it's not done, there's nothing said one man who has been hired in the past to fire at the feathered predators. There are three major growers and all put shotgun patrols in their fields. One of the larger growers is Raymond Sleeves, who said ff there was an alternative, he'd use it. But the birds were tak- ing his crop, "not part but Mr. Sleeves said he finds the control of birds almost im- possible and the principal cul- prit is the robin. CHOOSE RIPE BERRIES "No trouble with the other birds at he said in an in- terview, "but there's no scar- ing off robins." He tried several other sys- tems, including sonar scare devices, but they didn'l work. And the robins are selective about which berries they eat he said. They start with the mature crop, ripened berries, but won't touch green or half- ripe berries. "As the crop matures, they'll eat those." He estimates they would wipe out a 20-acre 29-ton field in three weeks if left alone. "The only control that any- one has is shooting. A dead bird doesn't come back." "Theres no point in trying to scare them away." He estimated he disposed of "roughly 7.000" last year but there is no true count. Mr. Sleeves thinks his defences are slightly better, however, than those of his neighbors SMART EXECUTIVES Lease Their Business and Personal Cars BECAUSE Leasing can be less expensive than buying Leasing is time saving and convenient Leasing simplifies your tax records No cash investment required For the complete on leasing contact BORIS KORESHENKOV, Leasing find Insurance Rep. BENY AUTOMOTIVE ENTERPRISES LTD. I 2nd AVE. and 8fh STREET S. Phone J28-n01 A cause for general public concern Crimes of violence increasing in London By ROBERT CHESSHYRE London Observer Service LONDON Crimes of vio- lence in London are now a cause for general public con- cern, according to Britain's top policeman, Sir Robert Mark of Scotland Yard. And it is not just "mugging" the fashion- able word for robberies of in- dividuals in the street but armed bank and payroll hold- ups that are on the increase. Sir Robert, hailed on ap- pointment as Metropolitan Po- lice Commissioner as Britain's most intellectual police chief, was making his public report on his first year in office. This has been a generally difficult time for the police as fast changing public attitudes have increasingly clashed with traditional police thinking. They have also had to contend with more sophisticated problems such as militant trade union picketing, and political violence from bombers and potential as- sassins. To meet these complex chal- lenges and to combat "ordin- ary" crime, London's police force is in urgent nesd of near- ly more men to bring it up to "establishment" strength of over In the mean- time, Sir Robert confessed, everyday crime was going largely undetected. One survey in North London found that a detective only had three hours on average to investigate a burglary. Priority is being given to ser- ious crimes either involving large sums of money or at- tacks on people. The number of muggings last year 129 per cent higher than in 1968. Robberies of personal property doubled during the same period. Arms were car- ried in 380 robberies mainly against business premises such as banks, and there were 113 murders. These are small numbers by American standards, but Bri- tish people are growing in- creasingly conscious that as individuals do run a risk of either being robbed or in- volved as innocent bystanders in a major crime. At the same time there is growing concern about police standards. Ironically, Sir Rob- ert himself has contributed to this by shaking up the Scotland Yard hierarchy and exposing corruption and malpractice at several levels. Two internal Scotland Yard inquiries are currently investi- gating links between detectives and the haad of a chain of por- nography shops and strip clubs. One or two senior detectives have resigned through disagree- ment over Sir Robert's meth- ods. Further reorganizat ion that will have the effect of breaking up the independence of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will be an- nounced before the end of this month. Complaints against the police continue to rise, but the num- ber substantiated stayed the same as last year 214. These complaints are investigated in- ternally by other policemen: another cause for disquiet among those who believe it would benefit the police them- selves for there to be indepen- dent machinery. Following the shooting of two young Pakistanis who held up staff a tthe Indian High Com- mission with mock pistols, and the shooting dead of an armed bank robber by a policeman on his way to guari duty at an Arab embassy, there was a general fear that the police were being surreptitiously armed. Criminals say that they are more likely to carry guns now that it appears that policemen are being armed. Sir Robert was at pains to dispel this im- pression. He said that only tour members of the 200-man Spe- cial Patrol Group regularly carried guns, and this was for specific duties. The Special Pa- trol Group is an emergency force that backs up local po- licemen on certain demanding investigations such as door-to- door murder inquiries. Sir Robert's main concern is to raise the image of police work to place it on a par with the professions, so that at the top end an extremely well ed- ucated and able class of re- cruit is attracted. 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