The state Senate’s task force on Lyme and tick-borne diseases recently released an interim report about this seriousness of these diseases and what the panel is trying to do about them. However the report largely ignores credible evidence that foxes and opossums are crucial to lowering rates of mass diseases. Foxes eat tick infested rodents. The rodents that are not eaten instead of scurrying where they become prime hosts for ticks, hide in burrows and thus are less likely to spread Lyme disease.

Opossums act as ecological traps for larval ticks. An opossum host more than 5,500 ticks in a season and consume most of them. From late October until mid-February, hunters and trappers in New York are permitted to kill an unlimited amount of foxes and opossums in any manner they see fit. If the state senate’s task force is really serious about combating devastating tick-borne diseases, its members will do everything possible to assure foxes and opossums are protected species throughout the year.

(For further information, Google "Lyme disease, foxes, opossums)

Joel Freedman