Starting March 5, the town of Frederick, CO, plans to begin killing off two of its largest prairie dog colonies and passed an ordinance that will require private property owners to remove them from their land, citing health concerns.
The town is bringing in a private company, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Services, to poison the prairie dogs and residents who fail to remove prairie dogs from their own property will be subject to a ticket and a fine of up to $1,000.
Last weekend, activists protested extermination plans and argued that the incredibly social prairie dog plays a vital role in the prairie ecosystem as a keystone species.
“We should not be destroying our natural heritage by killing prairie dogs. We should not be teaching our children to not have compassion for animals; and we shouldn’t be showing the world that we don’t care about our environment by killing prairie dogs,” said activist Kelllie Cremer.
There are at least 30 species of wildlife that depend on prairie dogs directly, or by opportunistically using their colonies and another 117 species that are likely to benefit from their presence, in addition to supporting plant and diversity around their colonies, according to the Prairie Dog Coalition.
Not only is the lethal control of prairie dogs by poisoning cruel and inhumane, but forcing private landowners to kill animals on their own property is just beyond words.
Please sign the petition asking Frederick officials to reconsider this ordinance and adopt alternative methods of dealing with prairie dogs from habitat modification to relocation.
Photo credit: Photomatt28