Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coyotes in Ventura County

One of the things my Department - Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures - handles is protecting people from aggressive coyotes. However, we only do it unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and with cities that contract with us. Currently, all of those cities are in Los Angeles County. But I spoke with Nancy Needham about coyotes within a Ventura County neighborhood, and so I was quoted in this story.

The L.A. County Agricultural Commission has a coyote removal program that uses snares to catch the coyote, which is then euthanized. It’s against the law to relocate coyotes, said Ken Pellman, spokesperson for the county agricultural commission.
Just for the record, the name of the Department is Commissioner, not Commission. The head of the Department is the Agricultural Commissioner for the county. We're not run on a day-to-day basis by a commission.

"We need coyotes. They perform a service. They keep rodent populations in check," Pellman said.

Many people love coyotes and are quick to point out the animals were here before we were, he said.

But the wily critters are not a protected species. Although coyotes cannot legally be caught with leg traps or killed with certain poisons, Pellman said, the humane extermination of coyotes is as legal as getting rid of rats.

He said coyotes that roam neighborhoods during the day and take pets out of backyards when people are present are a problem.

"They show aggression when they do not stay away from people. They become a danger when they are not afraid of people," Pellman said.
I was speaking more about infants and toddlers when I gave this crackerjack parenting advice...

"Children should always be watched. A child should never be left alone where coyotes have been trained to get food from people," Pellman said.
Ah, the circle of life.