WATCH: A growing number of Canadian geese chomping on his crops is getting the goose of one Central Saanich farmer. Monica Martinez reports.
Picking through what remains of one of his corn fields, Central Saanich farmer Larry Sluggett is not happy about what he sees.
“Essentially they’ve completely destroyed what was growing here and virtually zero recovery whatsoever,” he said.
A portion of his 40 acre crop of corn has turned into an all you can eat buffet for the Canadian geese camped out at his pond.
“It’s a real serious problem economically.”
Sluggett said it’s been a problem for 15 years and in that time, the geese have eaten more than $100,000 worth of corn.
“It’s a lot of money ya. It’s tough enough in the farming business,” Sluggett said.
He would like take matters into his own hands and shoot the birds, but the municipality’s bylaws prohibit the discharge of a firearm within 100 metres of a dwelling.
“They are beautiful animals and you hate to shoot them but the situation is out of control.”
His other solution is a cull to control the geese population. He thinks the municipality should be culling three to four thousand birds a year.
Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said he is working on fixing the problem.
He said a change to the firearms bylaw is very unlikely due to community safety, but a cull is possible, however, the solution involves multiple levels of government.
The problem is migratory Canadian geese are protected under federal regulation, and even though these geese are non-migratory, they are treated in the same way.
“What we are arguing for, and it’s my I hope we can get to, is a change with the federal government that recognizes this non-migratory population and allows all methods to be used throughout the summertime to significantly reduce their numbers,” Windsor said.
The birds have left part of Sluggett’s corn fields alone for now, but the farmer wants a quick solution before they destroy more of his hard work.