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Starling slaughter just peachy with B.C. fruit growers



  • CanWest News Service

January 7, 2006

CanWest News Service

Larry Pynn

VANCOUVER - Farmers in the Okanagan region of the B.C. Interior are, according to this story, waging war on the introduced European starling, hiring a local trapper to capture and gas at least 50,000 of them a year with the carcasses being recycled as food for bird rehabilitation centres.

Glen Lucas, general manager of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association in Kelowna, was quoted as saying in an interview Friday that, "We like to call them rats with wings,. They're vermin, they spread disease and cause damage, and they're prolific like rats. They're nasty pests."

The story says that farmers in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys are wrapping up a three-year program costing up to $50,000 a year about a buck a bird. Major funding is from a federal-provincial agriculture-environment program, with support from various fruit, grape, dairy, and cattle producers.