September 23, 2020

Road Salt Found To Make Animals Intoxicated

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This may not come as a surprise to many readers but a new study has found that road salt makes animals intoxicated in a way that affects the normal functions of their brains. This includes ungulates such as deer and moose but also grouse, pheasant and songbirds.

Many who live in areas of the north where road salt is amply applied to the roadways to assist in keeping them clear of ice and snow, have commented for years that animals, and in particular deer, are attracted to the roadside because of the salt. People have for years used salt licks to attrack deer.

In Canada, a study done recently shows that the ingestion of sodium chloride impairs normal brain functions in wildlife. We have often seen grouse hanging beside the roadways almost acting tame to passing motorists or hunters for that matter. Now it is thought that the birds are greatly affected by the salt and become quite lethargic.

Animals such as moose and deer are congregating to the roadsides looking for the salt as well. When eaten, and evidently it doesn’t take much salt, it impedes the animal’s ability to avoid danger, aiding in the vehicle-animal collision increases over the last decade.

Tom Remington

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