Preventable dog tragedy

An Open Letter to Hon. Steve Thomson: Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Dear Mr. Minister:

On Boxing Day 2012 our neighbours from Edmonton were enjoying a wilderness walk along the Baerg Forest Service Road located adjacent to MacDonald Creek Provincial Park 16 km south of Nakusp with their two dogs. Suddenly Niki, an 11-year-old Yellow Lab, bolted into the forest. Moments later the serenity was broken by the cries of a dog dying an indescribable and preventable death.

Niki had become yet another statistic of domestic animals having been caught in Conibear traps. Niki suffered unimaginable pain as the steel trap gripped, strangled and broke her neck with a pressure of at least 90 pounds per square inch.

Naturally our neighbours are mourning the loss of their companion but are thankful that this tragic event did not happen to an inquisitive youngster or even an unwary adult. Their anger is not directed at the licensed holder of the trap line, but is focussed at the current policies and regulations of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations that presently state trappers SHOULD POST   NOT   MUST BE REQUIRED TO POST visible signage notifying the public of trapping activity within areas adjacent to our provincial parks and Crown Land frequented by outdoor enthusiasts.

These signs should be of a reasonable dimension (50cmx50cm), plainly visible at the commencement of the trail head and clearly state “Active Trapping Within the Area AND All Pets MUST be Leashed”.  

If School and Playground Zones require signage advising motorists to exercise caution it begs the following question…. Why do we not require signs to be posted notifying the public of active trapping activity?

I am proposing the immediate need for a review and subsequent legislative change requiring that “holders of government issued trapping licenses to  be required to post signage warning the public of active trapping in the vicinity, especially when trapping in regions located adjacent to popular recreational areas such as MacDonald Creek Provincial Park or other BC Parks located adjacent to populated centres.”

Yours truly
Brian Graham

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