Globe and Mail

Less-lethal weaponry belongs to City of Surrey

Updated August 24, 9:20 pm

Commenter Marc provided a link to Rod Mickleburgh at the Globe and Mail, writing an update to yesterday’s story by the Surrey North Delta Leader. Mickleburgh reports that RCMP was not involved in this stunt with chicken manure. It is a project of bylaw enforcement officers at the City of Surrey. Acting Mayor Barinder Rasode says that no council members were involved in the initial actions and the mess was cleaned after senior officials became aware.

I apologize to the RCMP for passing along incorrect information without independently checking the Surrey North Delta Leader article. However, the health concerns I raised are real and the City staff involved deserve condemnation and reeducation. The blog article is altered according to the new information.

The City of Surrey and RCMP lined a Whalley social service building with chicken dung to keep homeless and vagrants away . . .

The desired effect was to create a smell so repugnant that it would repel vagrants who were hanging out around the building . . .

An e-mail to the mayor from Deputy City Manager Dan Bottrill says that “Surrey RCMP initiated this in order to dissuade individuals from loitering against the buildings bordering the lot.”

[Witness Kevin] Smith said he heard of several other buildings in North Surrey that have been sprinkled with the stenchy soil to keep vagrants away.

Mayor Dianne Watts said she was “flabbergasted” to hear of the chicken dung directive. “I’m certainly going to get to the bottom of this,” said Watts, adding it’s disgusting and a health hazard.

The RCMP were unable to comment on the incident . . .

From Kevin Kiakiw, Surrey North Delta Leader

Is the RCMP City so bereft of management skill and ignorant of public relations that “Project Chicken Dung” would seem like a good idea to someone? Well, it is not just noxious odors they are spreading. A study by John Hopkins University demonstrates that chicken manure harbors antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Poultry producers commonly use antibiotics to promote growth of the chickens. This can lead to bacteria in the chickens’ digestive system becoming resistant to antibiotics. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria are excreted and wind up in the manure and can survive even extended aging periods. In this situation, manure selected for its repulsive smell is not aged and therefore even more toxic.

The results from John Hopkins University raise concern that typical storage conditions may fail to keep the microbes from reaching people through contaminated food or drinking water. We can extrapolate these findings and reasonably conclude that a high level of risk is posed by the malignant spread of chicken shit in areas where health challenged people congregate.

This is not an amusing issue of minor inconvenience. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are responsible for more deaths each year in North America than the AIDS virus. MRSA is a common form of antibiotic resistant staph infection and is associated with thousands of deaths annually, a number that is growing.

Street people often suffer chronic diseases associated with drug and alcohol use, diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. This results in immunosuppression, with the result that homeless are at higher risk of developing acute illnesses when exposed to putrid carriers of bacteria.

Categories: Globe and Mail, RCMP

2 replies »

  1. Today's Globe & Mail article at the below link clearly states the RCMP had nothing to do with this incident.

    “Ms. Rasode said councillors and senior civic managers had no inkling the chicken dung strategy was going to be trotted out by its own staff. Early on, the deed was mistakenly linked to the RCMP. “I'm very glad to point you back to the city on this one,” a relieved RCMP officer told an inquiring reporter.”


  2. Thank you Marc. I intend to be critical of RCMP actions but only when deserved and based on fact. It was my error to accept an unconfirmed report from a secondary news source. I will strive to avoid repeating this error.


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