Animal rights advocates are reportedly concerned over Montana’s method of dealing with ground squirrels that have burrowed beneath some of the athletic fields at Billings parks.  Authorities say they are endangering athletes and wreaking havoc on turf conditions.  In response, the Billings Parks and Recreation Department bought a machine two years ago that sends a sandy slurry into the rodents’ burrows, preventing them from leaving or entering again.  Parks Department officials have touted the results, which have improved the playing fields.

 

Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made an inquiry of the city based on a report they received anonymously.  Kent Stein, a member of PETA’s emergency response team, wrote to city council members that the control method being used is inhumane.  Stein offered a few alternative suggestions, but Billings administrators said the health and safety of citizens took precedence over that of the rodents.