With his latest column (Sunday, Page 6B), Ted Peck exposes his outdated biases and willingness to rationalize killing for fun and simple destruction, stating crows “carry” the West Nile Virus and maliciously labeling them “dirty pests.” While crows, like other birds, can contract West Nile, insinuating they spread the disease is nothing more than fake news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the virus is spread by mosquitoes, period.

Crows are known for their intelligence, communication, use of tools, and they mate for life. In addition to vultures, eagles, hawks, owls and other birds and mammals, they eat carrion, which actually benefits the ecosystem. Peck’s trigger-happy promotion of “disease mitigation” is erroneous nonsense. Not only is proof of contamination lacking, experts say this practice controls the spread of disease.

While Peck has demonstrated he can write the occasional gem, he too often proves himself to be happily stuck in a past that many have grown to understand is no longer ethical, despite what the law allows. He shamelessly indicates a yearning for the rampant carnage of wildlife from previous centuries. Hunting for food is reasonable, but Peck’s assertion that crows are filthy disease-spreading pests is simply a lame, flawed excuse for having a “hoot” blasting them out of existence.

Due to a rare departure from monotonously narrow subject matter and, worse, his backward-thinking archaic promotion of practices better left behind decades ago, surely The Gazette can find someone who writes a more principled, diverse wildlife column, such as Duncan Pledger did. A change is long overdue.

ANGELA HANSEN

Beloit

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