Monday, August 10, 2009

YouTube Duck Poachers Arrested.

It is good news to see that the goofballs who illegally shot a bunch of ducks on a remote pond have been arrested. These jerks, who took great glee in killing these birds for not good reason, also posted the video of the event on YouTube.

They are in such serious trouble and they should be. The Globe an Mail story as of 10:15 am today had a 175 comments already. The Sun papers are carrying a story about their "apology" saying they had "never been in trouble before" and they "did not know it was a crime."

Come off it guys, how hollow, shallow and unctuous can you be.

These accused are rural young men in their 20s and a 30 year old who already fessed up that they are the ones in the video. They are not teenage boys out on a prank. They surely knew or ought to know what poaching is and that there is an actual duck hunting season. They own guns and one would hope they have been properly trained in their use and informed as to when guns are to be use for legitimate hunting purposes. This was thoughtless useless killing just for the fun of watching those birds die.

Hunters and wildlife conservationists share many common values about wildlife. These guys have done so much harm to legitimate sport hunters image that they are not going to get of with an apology for the useless slaughter of these ducks.

I am not surprised by the public loathing and seething anger at these guys. We have done two major research projects with over 4000 Albertans in each case. the study was on what are predominant value drivers of Albertans around the forestry and oil sands industries. In both cases preservation of wildlife and protection of their habitat was the #1 value driver for Albertans. We saw the international outrage when the ducks died in the Syncrude tailing pond over a year ago. The same outrage will be visited on these guys.

The penalties they potentially face are severe, depending on what laws they are charged under. The Migratory Birds Convention Act carries fines between $300,000 and $1,000,000 and up to 6 months in jail. The Saskatchewan Wildlife Act is another place were charges will likely be laid but I don't know the penalty sections there.

The wanton disregard for the law and the feeble excuses they have offered so far will do little to mitigate the damage they have done or the public outrage against this kind of behaviour. These dolts put their video up on YouTube for all to see. Social media is such a game changer in how our society is changing and learning about stuff. Some of it is mindless drivel but it also helps bring people to justice as in this case.