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City’s coyote plan concerns county

Thursday, November 6, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Citing complaints by constituents and concerns by wildlife officials, Travis County Commissioners voted Tuesday to send a letter to the Austin City Council asking them to delay a vote today on proposed changes to the city’s coyote conflict management policy. After an extended process, a city working group proposed a set of changes to the policy  — based partly on Austin’s status as a “no kill” animal shelter city — that eliminates the option of using lethal force in most situations. The policy would also ban the use of all traps other than live-release box traps. It recommends “hazing” the animals through yelling and making noise to drive them out of neighborhoods. Wildlife officers told Commissioners that they believed the policy is dangerous, and that eliminating the option of killing rogue animals would simply embolden the most aggressive coyotes and make the situation more dangerous for homeowners and their pets. Commissioners approved a letter Tuesday asking the City Council to once again postpone action on the policy so that city and county officials could discuss it before moving forward. A vote on the policy is on today’s Council agenda.

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