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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2001
    Location
    Colorado, a suburb of Los Angeles
    Posts
    6,660

    Default scorched earth?

    I am boarding at a multi discipline boarding barn, 100+ horses...you couldn't pay me enough to manage this place.
    We have a new manager. He has no horse experience but he is pleasant and a hard worker and got right to work leveling runs and fixing fences and doing what needs to be done.

    He is also raging war against the wildlife. We don't have possums here so the major threat to horses doesn't exist. He is trapping raccoons (and drowning them) trying to trap foxes, working on exterminating the pigeons, the starlings are next and he proudly told me that he has already knocked down all the swallow's nests and killed all the babies. Swallows who by the way EAT mosquitoes by the pound.

    The barn is a collection of three sided sheds and runs in an area surrounded by a creek, a major ditch, pasture land, a few totally wild areas. Deer and foxes are to be seen day and night. There is no end to the wildlife, kill one and another moves in.
    I have never been at a barn with a scorched earth policy. I have boarded at backyard facilities and nice show barns...all of them dealt with the wildlife that goes with a barn. Raccoons got into the feed? Who left the lids off or the door open? Swallows are nesting in the eaves?...don't bother them, they eat flies and mosquitoes. Pigeons in the indoor? Hang a plastic owl by where they nest.
    Nobody has ever just set out to kill every living thing there.

    I told him there was no need to do all this....he said people are complaining about the bird poop in the waterers......well then, CLEAN the damn waterers....which has never been done in the year I have been here (I clean my own).

    Am I off base.....do you want to board at a barn where everything but the horses is hunted down and killed?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 1999
    Location
    flyover country
    Posts
    1,934

    Default He sounds deranged

    What do the BOs say? Did you suggest to him that the waterers be washed? EEK What do the foxhunters think of him trapping foxes?
    Another killer of threads



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    615

    Default

    An aggressive fly eradication program...yes.
    Beyond that...no. We have swallows in the barn and arena...there's a toad living behind the potted fake tree in the bathroom, and just about every morning there's a turkey vulture perched in the dead tree near the corner of my horse's paddock.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,323

    Default

    If he's killing barn swallows, call the state Department of Natural Resources or, IIRC, US Fish and Wildlife (I believe it would be their jurisdiction.) It's a crime to kill migratory birds.

    http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html

    O HAY, you're in Colorado? If he's trapping kit or swift foxes it's against the law. Red and gray foxes have a hunting season.

    http://wildlife.state.co.us/

    I wouldn't stay at a barn where there was scorched earth and definitely not at one where I suspect the guy could pay some serious fines and possibly do time for breaking wildlife laws.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,481

    Default

    Umm, swallows are protected by law. You can NOT remove the nests or the birds when they have eggs or babies in them. It's illegal.
    Also it's dingbat to drown raccoons. Shoot them, don't drown them.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    It's a crime to kill migratory birds.
    It is also a crime under the same law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act) to disturb their nests. By the way, if you read the fine print, you'll see that the act covers pretty much every bird except starlings. Including crows and magpies though you can get a predation permit to shoot them if for example they are damaging crops.

    Mind you- state and Federal wildlife authorities wouldn't put killing a few swallows on private property at the top of their list- but it does sound like this fellow is going after everything that moves! As has been noted, if he's taking kit foxes which are protected- well, FWS would certainly go after him for that.

    Even trapping nuisance species like raccoon and skunk- unless you are working with animal control authorities- requires a trapping permit, I expect (not familiar with CO laws). And then there are laws, at least in Utah, against harassing wildlife- drowning those raccoons might just qualify there.

    If the guy were running the barn where I boarded- well, I'm very in your face, and I would have already confronted him on violating wildlife laws- and I would also inform the BO that there are violations occurring- and BO is at risk for prosecution by allowing an employee to do that.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    4,948

    Default

    Thats a bummer, sounds like some one needs to bring it to his attention he is breaking the law and could get heavily fined.

    We have a ton of swallows at our barn. I love watching them go to work in the evenings eating all of those 'skeeters!

    Did I mention we have NO FLYS at our barn? Sure, management disposes of the manure properly, but I am sure our swallows (and chickens) play a good part in that!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2001
    Location
    Colorado, a suburb of Los Angeles
    Posts
    6,660

    Default

    I tried to talk to him...I am not going to get in an argument with the guy that has control of my horse's care.
    Next step is to talk to the (absent) barn owner.
    I was trying to figure out if any of this is actually illegal....I didn't think about the laws re migratory birds.
    The foxes are red foxes and I don't know that he has caught one yet....who ever asked about the fox hunters....lol....no hunting in this area and where the hunts are...they hunt coyotes!
    He just doesn't understand raccoons if he thinks killing the kits is going to rid the barn of them, especially in this area.
    I hate to have him kill the pigeons in my horse's stall.....they have done a better job of de-spooking her than anything I've done.
    I'm just glad to hear that others are bothered by this...I talked to a couple of boarders and they didn't care.
    I will contact Animal Control at the Sheriff's Office and the state wildlife office and see what they have to say.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2007
    Posts
    3,928

    Default

    Most of that sounds illegal under CO law, actually. Did some research on it myself when I was managing a farm up there and one of our crazy boarders wanted us to start trapping "pests"...which was apparently everything except the barn cats. It would bother me if that was going on at my barn, too. I'm definitely of the live and let live variety. I think talking to AC and the wildlife people is a good plan. I've always found them (the wildlife people especially) to be very helpful.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,823

    Default

    Wow--he doesn't sound quite all there. Wish our barn swallows would move to the barn--
    they are on the beams under our back porch. We knocked their nests down last fall to
    repaint. Didn't know that was a no-no, but they came back this spring and rebuilt the
    two nests plus added a third. The main nest was a work of art when that bird got through
    with it. The second was ho-hum and the third has a ways to go but that momma managed
    to raise a couple in it without them falling out.

    What amazes me is the number of black horse tail hairs end up in the nest building materials
    and each nest has a half dozen hanging down. Tis the only thing I think they could be as
    they are several feet long. I could do without the bird poop as we step out the back door
    but love having them around. Does anyone know where they migrate to?

    Can't imagine why the foxes would be a problem unless they would scoop up a barn cat.
    The raccoons I can see trapping but wouldn't a wildlife organization take them. Think they
    now thing raccoons can also carry the EPM protozoa. And I don't rabies is the big problem
    in Colorado as it is here in north Texas.

    Boarded at several barns in the Parker and Elizabeth areas when we lived in Colorado and
    don't remember any "sorched earth" policy other than occasional pot shot at coyotes
    when hassling BO's dogs.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    Dittos on contacting the DOW. Swallows are such cool birds! We have several nests in the barn, and it seems like the more swallows we have, the fewer flies and mosquitos there are. And this should be a banner year for skeeters!

    He needs to be stopped. What kind of background DOES he have, if not a horsey one?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,606

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beasmom View Post
    He needs to be stopped. What kind of background DOES he have, if not a horsey one?
    Probably the same mindset as many of my neighbors: "If it's brown - it's down".
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    Definitely report him for killing beneficial species. And, by the way, what does the barn owner think of having an ignorant indiscriminate-killer "managing" things??? Couldn't he put his energy to actual beneficial use?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Scary! I'd definitely to talking to some folks: BM, BO, DOW.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,365

    Default

    Sounds like a control freak to me. Sometimes you have to clean bird poop... Life sucks.

    I'd read the law and report him. This is just the beginning. It's illegal, and it's not nice.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,323

    Default

    Red foxes MUST be taken in season in Colorado. He's breaking that law. He's violating the migratory bird act (about the only things it wouldn't cover are starlings and English sparrows). Raccoons in some states can be trapped and shot without a permit as they're varmints, but check Colorado law on that (in Michigan they're considered pests.) But I suspect drowning them would violate animal cruelty statues.

    He's breaking state law, federal law, and possibly local animal-cruelty regulations. The guy sounds like a total nut.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2009
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, CND
    Posts
    2,191

    Default

    I can tell you in Toronto they hate their racoons - yet there was a big hub-bub when some idiot threw a trapped one into the lake in front of a habour cam. Dancer's right - that's going to violate animal cruelty laws.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
    Location
    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
    Posts
    3,734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nes View Post
    I can tell you in Toronto they hate their racoons - yet there was a big hub-bub when some idiot threw a trapped one into the lake in front of a habour cam. Dancer's right - that's going to violate animal cruelty laws.
    I actually got chased off putting the garbage out by a Toronto 'coon once. They're HUGE nasty things.

    But I agree - drowning is not the way to go about it
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,887

    Default

    He is totally breaking the law. Take it to the owner in the vein of "I would hate for your facility to get fined for what your manager is doing, because it's illegal."

    And if he was killing swallows in my presence, or babies, I would not be responsible for my actions. What a whack job. Scary.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    1,362

    Default

    If you are surrounded by pastureland and wild areas, then all he is doing by indiscriminately killing raccoons and foxes is creating an opportunity for new raccoons and foxes to move in. He'd have to eradicate them from the entire county to be effective.

    Sounds like he is either ignorant of some basics, or just likes to kill things.
    ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....



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