Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 22, 1971 Letters to ihe editor Dale E. Alsager Toil is out of fashion Vigorous, heallhy men wanted for jobs involving hard work. Applicants must be willing lo learn. The place: Spanvooii, B.C. At a lime when unemployment is increasing in Canada, when the com- plaints of the jobless from coast to grow louder, why should the coal companies list as one of the main problems to increased produc- tion the lack of manpower? According to officials of Ihe com- panies who are trying to explain why they have not been able to fill export quotas promised to Japanese indus- trialists, there is a shortage of man- power labor, technical and man- agerial. Lack of technical and man- agerial personnel is relatively easy to understand because men of exper- ience in these fields are always dif- ficult to find, even in an economical slow-down situation. But a shortage of men willing to learn and to work at physically demanding jobs at good pay, is a disgrace. It is I rue that there has been little demand for coal miners in the 'Pass area for many years and that there are few experienced men left. Now, with the huge developments current- ly in progress and others in pros- pect, manpower is in great demand in the area. The demand is likely to continue for years to come. Here is a classic case where govern- ment training programs could help industrial development and reduce unemployment. Such a program makes more sense than subsidizing young people to travel across the country. It doesn't make sense when work opporiflnilies are available, that those who fit the needs of industry should be on the welfare rolls. Wel- fare is easier, although it doesn't pay quite as much that's Ihe only con- clusion the Canadian public can reach under these circumstances. Welfare is a comfortable unde- manding way of life. Toil is out of fashion An effrontery Citizens of Lclhbridge can be ex- cused if they plead puzzlement over city council's handling of the fluori- dation plebiscite issue. Anger might be excusable in some instances. If council can decide whether or not a plebiscite shall be held, then why wasn't the decision made when the matter was first raised? Why were concerned citizens virtually in- viled to express their desire for a plebiscite through Ihe submission of a petition? It is true that council members have been delegated the responsibil- ity to make decisions, but once they deferred in favor of an expression of opinion from the people they should have approved the plebiscite. The people who made the effort to gather the names of a thousand citizens can only be amazed at the effrontery with which they have been treated. In effect, two people have decreed that more than people will continue to be without the benefit of fluoridated water. The Herald sub- mils that on an issue as important as this one, the public has a right to decide and that council should have been directed by the wish of the thousand citizens responded in signing a petition. Happiness in Moscow Never a nation to neglect oppor- tunities for political advantage, the U.S.S.R. is already making overtures of friendship and sympathy to Japan in the present economic crisis. .Al- though (here has been no attempt yet at increased trade relationships, the official Russian press has been play- ing up to Japan in the hope that Ja- panese feelings of frustration over the sudden announcement of the import surcharge and Ihe pressure to up- grade the value of the yen, could work to the benefit of Russia. The prospect of the Nixon visit to China has alarmed Japan too, and the Rus- sians are hardly likely to stand by if there is any possibility of establish- ing rapport with the Japanese, who are growing resentful of having the rug drawn from under them. If political support in Japan for the American alliance has been severely damaged, as many think it already has been, one would be more pleased than the Russians. The Nixon administration must be aware of this. If the President delays loo long in lifting the import tax or at least mak- ing some decision as to how long it will be retained, and what he intends lo do once the 90 day period is over, he is bound to further endanger Ja- panese American friendly relations. This would undoubtedly play into Rus- sian hands and further their attempts to outflank China in Asia. Diplomatic talks with Emperor Hir- ohito in Alaska are hardly likely to change the Japanese climate of opin- ion. A clear international settlement on exchange rates and the removal of the surcharge probably would. Time is a-wasting. ANDY RUSSELL pROJI Victoria, British Columbia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when speaking to various audiences ranging from those in the biggest thealres to ethers in classrooms, I have been asked the question: what is the most dangerous ani- mal? Without hesilation, I have always an- swered: man. If you ever visit Ihe London Zoo, you will be confronted by a full length mirror, and over it there is a sign which reads: YOU ARE NOW LOOKING AT THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL ON EARTH. The purport of these words may assault your feelings, insult or even shock you, for many of us think of ourselves as di- vine beings far above other warm blooded creatures something designed by God with many privileges, but owing lilflc re- sponsibility lo other forms of life. But in truth, we are only a part of nature, a por- tion of the vast ecosystems inhabiting this space vehicle called earth. We do have the advantage of superior intelligence, the u.se or abuse of which delermincs our future and whether or not we will ultimately sur- vive as a species. Ever since man fashioned his firsl ilone weapons and contrived to make fire, he has dominated all forms of life surround- ing him in his environment. Over the past hundred years his intelligence has con- trived a most complicated and wonderful technology giving him affluence and mar- velous opportunities for living, but it has been mismanaged and Ihe effluents created by Ihe affluence arc spoiling his surroundings and nan-owing his horizons. Science has been responsible for Ircmen- dotisly decreasing natural mortality. The Inw of survival of Ihe filtesl no longer ap- plies to man, nnd by his increase be threatens bis continuance. If the won. dcr of his intelligence docs not find a way lo defuse Ihe population bomb, he faces Ihe probability of his own cxlincfion, and the power o! hi.-; technology will mean no- thing. Our economic system throughout Hie world operates under the assumption that- what is big is better, and what is develop- ing and growing fast is good. It does not recognize the limitations of natural re- sources or energy sources, and by the same illusion (foes not compute long range future continuance. What has appeared to work well in Ihe past, no longer functions as we would like; for sources of life-giving water arc dying, the earth lhal supplies our food is losing its fertility, and fouled air threatens our health. Our system has become more concerned with things than happy people, and so it is failing. But all this does nol cancel the pofency of our intelligence, it only points up some fallacies in the way we are using it. Throughout the history of man it is evident that when enough people become aware of a problem, something is ullimalely done to solve it, Where past and present genera- tions have caused a frightful moss, the young people of today realize the dangers and arc looking for means of correction. Tlie challenges of our modern world arc exciting even if appalling. The basic an- swers lie not in any particular adjustments of polilics, religion, industry or economy; but in recognizing some simple principles of life. With this will come a comprehen- sion that man is an equitable part of all life, sharing the same environment and needing the same tilings. As part of the great living lapcslry of Ihe world, he inu.st for Ihe sake of his very exi.slancc, know it i.s dangerous lo cut and disc.ird oilier threads of life, nilhoul. plan or llmughl of preventing their dosl.mdinii. He must Icnin lhal to waste for the sake of quick profit is to some day want. But tlie sun still rises in Ihe mornings with a promise. We still have hope. The key lo the future is in the hands of the young. M.-iy they sec our mistakes and suc- cessfully correct Uicm. Facts set straight on compound 1080 Dale E. ALsngvr is a pro- fessional zoologist anil recog- nized authority on wildlife damage control find predator management. As supervisor of Alberta's Vertebrate Pest Control programs lie is the author of several publications on .subjects pertaining lo ro- dent control, wildlife and pre- dator management disease prevention, and pbys- iology of vertebrate animals. Alberta's recent policies on vertebrate wildlife damage control are mpidly becoming recognized by biologists as being among (lie most scien- tifically based and biological- ly orientated in Nortb Amer- ica. JJECENTLY, articles concerning the use of so- dium flucroacetate (1080) in Al- berta have been published. I feel obligated to clarify several points in order [hat your read- ers remain accurately inform- ed. ft is not my intention to put forth a case either lor, or against, controlling coyotes per se or other predators of agri- cultural industries. This type of dialogue is out dated, futile and without a possibly mean- ingful end because the diverse views on Ibis subject are depen- dent upon each individual's past experience and personal value judgments. It is a delicate and difficult task for those charged with the responsibility of con- ducting predator control pro- grams to accurately assess needs for predator control in any given situation. hi nature, predation is the normal and necessary working of a basic law that benefits all life, including man. ft is irrr- portant to remember that only by understanding and working with the principle of normal predation can we control the damage that results when pre- dation is not normal. There are two ways of doing this: can avoii" predator damage by pro- viding protection from preda- tors; and when this is not suf- ficient or practical, we can re- duce predator damage by elim- ina.ting the individuals that are causing it. Avoiding predalor damage is by far preferred, however this is often not prac- tical or possible. When preda- tors are eliminated, only the most selective, effective and humane methods available, with the least impact on the environment and non target species, are used. Sodium fluor- oacelale is one toxicant used, under strict controls and with limitations, for this purpose in Alberta. Ik- Several statements made by Mr. Andy Russell in the Aug- ust 12, 1971 issue of Ihe Lelh- hridge Herald are misleading and-or in error: (i) Contrary to Mr. Russell's statement that, this material is "indiscriminate and non se- lective" in its action, it is the only toxicant presently avail- able which has a known selec- tivity for canines (coyotes, dogs This is, in fact, the main basis for justification of its use for tins purpose. Be- cause coyotes are more highly susceptible to it than other mammals and birds it can be used in concentrations which are of minimal danger to other species. In general, primates and birds are among the most tolerant to sodium fluoroacctatc and carnivores and rodents are the most susceptible. Most do- mestic animals show a suscep- tibility falling between the two extremes. To illti s t r a t e, an eagle would have to consume at least 5 pounds of treated bait in one feeding in order lo succumb to (he chemical. This would be virtually impossible since the baits (stationary) are used only during the coldest winter monlhs and must be consumed in the frozen state. This ensures that target ani- mals, feeding on bails which are frozen solid, take only min- imal amount. The specificity of Ihe baits can be increased greatly by proper placements. They are placed in areas of practically exclusive coyote ha- bitat which other species do not frequent during the winter months (i.e. high wind swept ridges, (ii) It is imporlant to note that raw sodium fluoroacetate (1080 chemical in powdered form) is not used in this form in Alberta. The material used in baits is in liquid form and represents a much diluted, and relatively safe form of appli- cation of the chemical. Never- theless, adequate precaut ions arc always taken and only a veiy few specially trained gov- ernment personnel are author- ized to handle the material and- or the bails. Strict regulations are adhered to concerning the location, placement and dispo- sal of baits so they do not rep- resent a danger to humans or domestic animals. The reason thp safety precautions and reg- ulations are always over-em- phasized is because there is no effective antidote should an ac- cident occur. (iii) There is a secondary hazard associated with the use of sodium fluoroacetate but the nature of the secondary hazard is grossly mis understood by the layman. In mammalian tis- sues, sodium fluoroacetate is changed biochemically in the process of action. Alt hough there are many things not clearly understood about this compound's pharmacological action, it appears that sodium fluoroacetate is changed, fol- lowing or during absorption from the small intestine, to fluoroacetic acid. Fluoroacetic acid subsequently condenses with oxaloaceiic acid to give a fluoroaaialogue of citric acid which apparently competitively inhibits citric acid utilization in mammalian tissues. In other words, the compound resulting in the tissues following inges- tion of sodium fluoroacetate is structurally similar enough lo citric acid to "fool" tile cell's biochemical machinerv. The fluoroanalogue is utilized in- stead of citric acid but it is not chemically similar enough to allow the reaction to proceed any further. Citric acid is an essential component in an im- portant cyclic biochemical re- action (T.C.A. cycle) involved in the produclion of A.T.P. (adenosine triphos p h a t e) in mammalian tissues. A.T.P. is an essential source of energy for mammalian cells, and con- sequently tnose tissues with high energy demands are first to be affected (i.e. cardiac muscle Also under nor- mal circumstances C02 is an important by product of Uie T.C.A. cycle. With the disrup- tion of these metabolic reac- tions, C02 is not given off and subsequently respiration is also inhibited. In summary, provid- ed a sub lethal dose is origin- ally taken, the compound is bio- chemically changed and dissi- p a t e d by the body's metabo- lism. When a lethal dose is con- sumed, the resultant chemicals in the tissues of the dead ani- mal are not a hazard to other animals or biro's feeding on its flesh (muscle The actual secondary hazard is manifest in the follow i n g ways: (a) Sodium mono fluoro. acetate is extremely effective as a metabolic toxicant in car- nivores because its absorption via the digestive tract is fast enough lo allow the absorption of lethal amounts of the chem- ical hefore its effects are ap- parent. Unfortunately, however, one of the early symptoms of poisoning is nausea and vomiting. A hazard does occur when Ihe stomach contenls are regurgitated and another ani- mal, such as a coyote or dog, happens along and consumes tlie regurgitated material. This male-rial simply represents a slighl concentration of the orig- inal animal's diet. For the same reason Ibcre is a danger when an animal eats the intestines and stomach of an animal w h i c h has succumbed Lo so- dium fluoroacclale. (b) When a target animal has relatively high resistance to so- dium fluoroacetate a higher concentration of the chemical must be used. A secondary poi- soning hazard i.s then intro- duced to those animals less re- sislanl which feed on the car- cass or bait. An example here would lie the 1080 bails used for conlrol of rabbits (fairly re- sistanl) in Australia. Carnivores feeding on dead rabbils are in danger because of the high concentrations for a le- thal dose to rabbits. This does not occur in Alberta as 1080 is never used for rodent control. Compounds very similar to sodium mono fluoroacelalfi have, been used for years by scientists as metabolic inhibit- ors when studying biochemical reactions in cells. It is well sub- stantiated that it is the concen- trations of such chemicals that determines their potential as metabolic inhibitors. (iv) Relationship to prey spe- cies: Predators are one of many forces influencing the density of a prey species (dis- ease and starvation are usually the major Also, coyotes are one of the many predators of native prey spe- cies. Tlrere is no evidence that coyotes alone significantly reg- ulate the density of any one prey species in Alberla (with the possible exception of ante- lope fawns and sage Coyotes definitely have no ef- fect on (lie numbers of Norway rats in a given area or ince. Rats must depend upon man to provide them with food and shelter in our climate and consequently they only infest human dwellings, farm build- ings, etc. Consequently coyotes very rarely come in contact with Norway rats in their nor- mal hunting routes. Last year our rat control program ac- complished the extermination of rats under farm build- ings along a narrow strip ad- jacent to tlie Alberta Saskat. chewan border. ft is unrealis- tic to suggest that coyotes could take over this function (v) There is absolutely no similarity between sodium flu- oroacetate and DDT. These two compounds differ as much in use, pharmacological ac t i o n and reactivity, as they differ in chemical structure. (vi) Contamination of Drink- ing Water: Sodium fluoroace- tate is used so sparingly and under such strict controls in Alberta thai the chances of ac- c'idenlal contamina t i o n of a drinking water supply are ex- tremely remote In that I am aware of no such cases ever documented (military use ex- Let us suppose we "ac- cidentally" used a concentra- tion of more lhan 15 limes lhal actually used in baits in Ai- berla. Considering only a one- acre plot surrounding tlie bait, the poison would have to be leached out by rain hefore wa- ter could he polluted. If all the poison were leached out by one inch of rain falling on Ihe one- Will avoid Lethbridge On September 15th and 16th I had the privilege of visiting your fair city. I would like it to be known that some or the public servants disguised as po- lice officers on the Lethbridge Police Force do not use one bit of empathy when dealing with the public. 1 was unfortunate enough to get lost on a side street which was not a main through road. Not being familiar with Leth- bridge, 1 was looking for a way to a main artery leading to the downtown section of the city. I would also like it to be known, that at this time, ap- proximately 5 minutes to a.m. on September 16th, it was pouring rain and there were no students on the streets. Unfor- tunately, I had not seen the school zone sign restricting driving to 20 inph. However, when I noticed the school, I immediately began to slow down, only to find myself con- fronted by a big blue uniform in the middle of Ihe street. Being caught at 32 mph in a 20 mph zone in the city of Leth- bridge, I did unlawfully con- travene a section la) ol the Highway Traffic Act. The con- stable did not show me the clocking at 32 mph. I would like to ask the people of Lethbridge to please accept my most humble apology for learing up the city slreets like a common thug. I would like the entire populace to know that I have mailed a certilied cheque for to the magis- trate's clerk in the city police building in Lethbridge. I sincerely hope that my debt to society has been paid, and from this day on, I will drive around Lethbridge. Away around! It is my solemn inten- tion never to set foot in your city again. D. W. JOHNSTON. Calgary. Concerned about local park Whether we realize it hr not we are faced with a problem in tourism and family recreation. The specific problem I'm talk- ing about concerns the people .who use Indian Battle Park. A family gets together and plans a picnic and they go down Lo Indian Battle. If they decide Lo have a wci-ner roast or just build a fire to make the picnic more enjoyable they run into a problem. To have a fire you need wood and the only chopped wood there seems to be is on the southern end of tlie park surrounded by a fence and a lock on Ihe gate. It is very sel- dom you can find chopped wood that isn't locked up. If (lie city doesn't want to lose the inter- est of the people who go down there, they should have wood piles throughout the park Another thing which is ruin- ing the appearance of the park is caused by the people who use the park. When the people leave from a picnic they leave their garbage behind. Not in the gar- bage cans but all over Hie ground. You can walk through the park and just see what peo- ple throw around. Someone may drinking a pop and when they finish they just throw down their bottle. In time the bottle gets broken and someone can get cut very badly from it. What the park needs is lo be cleaned up and kept that way. If Hie park keeps going the way if is. in lime nobody would want to go there. HOBEHT BOBAK. Lelhbridgc. acre area (and it would prab. ably require more) and this rain all entered a dry water- course, a man drinking 1 pint of the water could receive no more than about part of a fatal dose for him. Put it another way, there would be a fata! dusu for a man in gallons. The risk to a man drinking even gallon of the water would be much less than the risk in eating an apple sprayed witli an insecticide but still conforming to tlie require- ments of our Food and Drug Directorate. Can carcasses of 1080 poison- ed animals on tlie edges of. streams cause a poisoning haz- ard to man drinking water from the streams? To begin with, thirst is not a symptom of 1030 poisoning and animals suffer- ing from His effects of it would nol fend lo seek water, but, nevertheless, suppose a single coyolc ate two pounds (a large feeding) of frozen bait and died on the edge of a slream. (Sup- pose lhal per cent of tlie chemical remained in the car- cass chemic ally unchanged and potent, and it represented enough sodium fluoroacetate to kill 15 The carcass would decompose in time and the con- tained poison would leach out and enter the slream. This leaching process would obvious- ly lake a long lime, but even if one supposed all the chemi- cal to be liberated at once into a stagnant pool containing as little as 100 gallons of walcr, there would, even then only be a fatal dose for a man in gallons of water. (One hundred gallons of would he con- tained in a pool 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 1 ft. With any flow of wa- ter at all through the pool, the concentration of poison would be reduced very rapidly below the already harmless level. (vii) There is no experimen- tal evidence lo suggest that sodium mono fluoroacetate is accumulated in hones or meat of animals. This chemical is not slored in the bones of 1080- poisoned animals and if it is laid on paslure, it cannot ren- der the plants themselves poi- sonous lo grazing animals. Nev- ertheless, in Alberta, all baits used arc destroyed by burning and burial following use. It i.s not the intention of this article to single out, for em- barrass in e n I or harassment purposes, one individual or group. 1 have submitted the above informalion because I know that people, both public and government personnel, like to be kept informed. It is im- portant that information pre- senled to the public remain ac- curate so that they might more ably make their own judg- ments. Nor is it my intention to pub- licly support or condemn the use of sof'Jum fluoroacetate per se. It most certainly has ils place, however it can be easily mis-used, and therefore must be handled only by experts. Above all, I am most certainly not suggesting that our preda- tor control programs are with- out need for improvements there is urgent need for much improvement along with con- tinued research, evaluation and flexibility of our programs. I appreciate the voiced con- cern of independent and for- ward thinking citizens such as Andy Russell, Ihe Foothills Pro- tective Association, etc. as I know there was no deliberate attempt made to mis-lead or mis inform others. Critics are necessary to bring about need- ed action and lo assist us with the development of better pro- grams. We are all concerned about our environment, conser- vation, and proper manage- ment of our wildlife but let's not discrimin ate against those among us who pliosc to earn their living by raising sheep, in the process of finding bcllcr solutions lo our mulual concerns. Looking backward Tlirongh the Herald 1921 Three addilion.il na- tions, E s t h o n i a, Latvia and Lithuania, were admitted lo the League of Nations today. Ift.ll A Japanese despatch from lUingchun, Manchuria lo- day said Japan's second army division had been ordered lo proceed to Harbin on the plea of the Japanese consul general for protection against the Chi- nese. Brooklyn Dodgers moved 1V4 games in front of St. Louis in Ibe lough National league pennant race today by blanking Hie Phillies 5-0. The federal govern- ment's surplus is continuing lo grow climbing lo more llian in (he first five monlhs of Hie 1951-1952 fiscal year. of fl pub- lic swimming area in the Old- man River was suggested at a meeting of Ihe Parks and Rec- reation Commission, to relieve the stress on the two cily pools. "One Small Step for a Man Tlie UtHbridge Herald 501 7lh St. S., LeLhbridec, Albcrla LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1005 by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mull Registration No. call Member of The Cnnfldlnn Pross ann ino Canadian Daily Nowspapnr Publishers' Associnlion and ths Audit Bureau ol Clrculallons CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor nnd Puhllshor THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Mnnnripr JOE OALLA WH.I IAW HAY Mfinaginti Editor Ar.sociait IZrtiloi ROY MILEi DOUGLAS K, WALKER Advirllnno Editorial P.igc Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"