City and County of San Francisco

November 8, 2012

1. Call to Order and Roll Call

Present Commissioners: Sally Stephens, Pam Hemphill, Ryan Young, Philip Gerrie, Annemarie Fortier, Shari O’Neil DVM, Susanna Russo, John Denny – SFPD

Absent Commissioners: Vicki Guldbech – ACC, Lisa Wayne – Rec & Park

2. General Public Comment

James Yorck – Concerned about animal activists bearing false witness. October 2010 edition of SF Weekly stated that ACC had rescued 35 cockatiels from an unknown source in SF. The onus was directed at pet stores. A month before, at a meeting, a member from Mickaboo stated that 35 cockatiels had been rescued in Lake County. Clearly those 35 birds had been smuggled into SF from Lake County. This was another attempt to vilify local pet stores. At the earlier meeting Commissioners, Stephens, Hemphill and Gerrie attended as well as Assistant Director of ACC, Kat Brown. Is their improper collusion between the Commission, the rescues and ACC to deceive the public? How many animals come in from other counties to inflate a crisis? This Commission refuses to work with people with different points of view.

Richard Fong – Concerned about the new Transbay Terminal’s waste water disposal effecting wildlife locally and in the nearby estuary. Also, the Terminal’s height affecting migratory patterns of birds.

Public Comment closed

3. Approval of Draft Minutes from October 11, 2012 Meeting

Comr. Stephens – A gentleman from the Port had a one sentence comment at the end of the discussion on the gulls. It didn’t make it onto the recording. He commended Dr. Oates and the response of the tenants to the issues. If a rep. from another dept. comes it should be in the Minutes.

Comr. Gerrie – He wasn’t on the recording so how do I…?

Comr. Stephens – He just stood up in the audience and spoke.

Comr. Gerrie – Since it wasn’t on the recording, past practice is to just make note of it now.

Comr. Hemphill - Is the link to the study in the Minutes?

Comr. Gerrie – Yes.

No public Comment

Minutes approved unanimously as written

4. Chairperson’s report and opening remarks

Comr. Stephens – Welcome two new Commissioners; Dr. Shari O’Neil and Annemarie Fortier. Please introduce yourselves and give a short description of how you got interested in the Commission.

Comr. Fortier – Lived in SF since 1995. Am a dog guardian and a mom to two kids. Through being out with my dog, I’ve come to appreciate the wildlife in SF. The coyotes. The birds. Thought this would be a great way to get involved with the City to serve its animals.

Comr. O’Neil – Practice at the Avenue Pet Hospital. Became interested through Dr. Aldridge, my predecessor for this seat, have a special interest in public health. I have a Master’s in public health degree. I also am interested in emergency preparedness and serve on that Commission.

Comr. Stephens – Could the other Commissioners give a short paragraph about themselves?

Comr. Young – Have been on the Commission for about a year. Became interested when I attended hearings about whether pet stores should be selling pets in SF.

Comr. Hemphill – I am an emergency medicine physician. I came to the Commission via my interest in habitat restoration and wildlife. Have been involved in many issues, from goats to coyotes. I have been on the Commission for a while. It takes a while to know how the Commission operates and what you can do being here.

Comr. Gerrie – I have been on the Commission for 5 years. It does take a while to get to know how things work. There’s a lot of potential to address a variety of issues. My main occupation is as a beekeeper. I am interested in how we and all non-human life can co-exist in the City.

Comr. Russo – I am a veterinarian. I’ve been on the Commission for two years. I became involved with the Commission after I was approached by neighbors over concerns about feral cats and coyotes. I love all the animals.

Comr. Denny – I was designated for this seat by the chief of police. I am a non-voting member. I am the hearing officer at the Vicious and Dangerous Dog Court. I’ve been coming to these meetings as a spectator or Commissioner since the early 90’s.

Comr. Stephens – I am Chair of this Commission and Chair of SF Dog. I am active in my neighborhood groups including the West of Twin Peaks Central Council and Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood. I am active in all sorts of park issues and animal issues.

5. New Business

A) Discussion and possible action to send a Quarterly Report of what our Commission has been discussing and any actions taken in the second half of 2012 to the Board of Supervisors.

Comr. Stephens - There are two primary areas we have talked about. One was about the animal wellness program at the zoo with a presentation by Dr. Maple in September. Second, last month’s discussion about the high mortality rate of Western Gulls at pier 94. Are there any questions, comments, changes?

Comr. Hemphill – I think there should be a link to the report to the high mortality rate of Western Gulls. The report should also clarify that Fish & Game wasn’t involved with the issue until our Feb 2011 meeting. We discussed the issue first in October of 2010. The other item is to name the chemical Recology is spraying on garbage to repel gulls. Methyl anthranilate.

Comr. Stephens – I can add that name.

Comr. Hemphill – The name is important. It is found in several foods we eat. Grapes, cherries, cocoa, corn, and black tea.

Comr. Stephens – I remember at the first meeting in 2010, Warden O’brien speaking from the audience. He wasn’t invited but he came. He spoke at length. The second time he was the invited speaker.

Comr. Hemphill - I looked at the Minutes and couldn’t find anything. That was what made everyone come forward and we continued in Feb 2011. He popped up in the audience and fully outlined his work.

Comr. Stephens – This isn’t really a report on what happened in 2010-2011. We could just say we heard about the high rate of mortality.

Comr. Hemphill - The issue was raised in Feb 2011. We initially thought it was rodenticides since the rendering plant wasn’t covering their trucks and the birds were oiled. I wanted to credit the progress that has been made. Initially with Richard and Kelly counting the dead birds. I could write something that describes the impetus for the study.

Comr. Stephens - I could say the issue was first raised in 2010 and 2011. Initial concerns were rodenticides and infectious diseases. Changes were made by Darling…

Comr. Hemphill – Yes, changes were made voluntarily by businesses in response to these discussions. They stopped using rodenticides in favor of snap-traps. They also started power washing their trucks to get rid of the grease. It’s a long tale and I wished to have more details.

Comr. Stephens – I could say the issue of high mortality was raised in 2010 and 2011. Initial concerns centered on rodenticides and infectious diseases. In response to Commission attention, rodenticide use was stopped…

Comr. Hemphill – Then Fish & Game warden William O’Brien came forward and spoke in Feb 2011. He spoke of conducting an investigation that had not been outlined to the Commission.

Comr. Stephens – That investigation resulted in this study.

Comr. Hemphill – Then, if you can include the name, methyl anthranilate, an ester, naturally found in plants and the link to the study.

Comr. Russo – Appreciates the work Comr. Stephens put into the Quarterly Report.

Comr. Hemphill – Please put in that there will be follow up on this issue, if birds continue to die.

Comr. Stephens – I can put, “We will continue to follow this issue.”

No Public Comment

Vote to approve Quarterly Report as amended.

Comr. Fortier – Is it a Quarterly Report if this is only the second one for the year?

Comr. Stephens – Yes. We didn’t meet one month and lacked a quorum in another.

Motion passes unanimously

6. General Public Comment

No Public Comment

7 & 8 Items to be put on the Calendar for Future Commission Meetings and Task Allotments

Comr. Gerrie – We currently don’t have a vice-president. We are currently about six months behind since new Commissioners were just appointed. When will we be selecting new officers?

Comr. Stephens – I was planning for January. We have a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary.
Comr. Gerrie – We also have some unfinished business such as looking at our website links.

Comr. Young – Comr. Russo and I are working on it. We should be done by the January Meeting.

No Public Comment

9. Adjournment 6:05 PM

Respectfully submitted by Philip Gerrie
Commission Secretary
Last updated: 1/9/2013 9:17:26 AM