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November 15, 2012

The HSUS Urges Huntington Beach, Calif., to Adopt a Humane Program for Managing Coyote Conflicts

adult coyote,  standin side view

John Harrison

The Humane Society of the United States is encouraging the city of Huntington Beach, Calif. to adopt a humane program for managing conflicts with coyotes, rather than resorting to ineffective, lethal measures. Due to reports of coyote sightings and attacks on domestic pets, the city council is considering hiring a private contractor to kill coyotes. The council will make its decision at a Nov. 19 meeting.

The HSUS has offered to assist in the design and implementation of a humane program for solving coyote conflicts, but the council has not responded. The most effective techniques for resolving coyote conflicts are educating the public on ways to avoid these conflicts, such as keeping cats indoors, not letting dogs outside unattended, managing trash and other food items that attract coyotes, and “hazing” coyotes who have lost their fear of humans. Hazing involves the systematic use of deterrents such as noisemakers, projectiles and water hoses.

“Public education and coyote hazing are not only more humane solutions for resolving coyote conflicts, but they are also more effective and longer-lasting,” said Lynsey White Dasher, urban wildlife specialist for The HSUS.

Killing coyotes is ineffective because vacated territories are quickly filled by new coyotes.  Hazing, however, teaches coyotes what behaviors are not acceptable. This has a ripple effect as young coyotes learn from their parents what is safe or not safe to do.

The HSUS held a seminar featuring techniques for preventing conflicts with coyotes for residents of Huntington Beach in August. More than 300 residents attended this presentation, which is available on the city’s website and airs on the local cable channel multiple times per day.

For tips on how you can prevent coyote conflicts and protect your pets, visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/solving_problems.html

Media Contact: Niki Ianni: 301-548-7793; nianni@humanesociety.org

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