A Vancouver-based organization opposed to the use of animal traps has a warning for pet owners in the wake of the death of a dog in the Nakusp area on Boxing Day.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals is warning pet owners to be extra vigilant while out in the woods with their four legged companions.
Thursday's warning comes on the heels of the death of Niki, an 11-year-old Yellow Lab killed in a Conibear trap adjacent to MacDonald Creek Provincial Park south of Nakusp.
"In addition to wild animals that are trapped for their fur, dogs, cats, birds and even endangered species can fall victim to steel traps," says Communications Director, Adrian Nelson.
"2012 was one of the worst years on record for the number of pets who were killed in traps."
This past year, Nelson says 16 reports involving trapped pets across Canada were received by the association with almost half occurring in BC.
Traps, including Conibear, leg-hold and snare traps, can legally be set 300 metres from a dwelling. Lethal traps can also legally be set on public, private and Crown lands.
The association has records (although not complete) of pets caught in traps dating back to 2000.
Six incidents have occurred over that time in the Kelowna/Okanagan region.
Association Executive Director, Lesley Fox, says the area is is one of the worst in Canada for pets being caught and killed in traps.
Responding to Castanet's story about Niki, Fox says:
"Drawing inspiration from your article, our organization will be pleading with Minister Steve Thomson to take immediate action today to change trapping regulations to prevent these accidents from happening. At the very least warning signs must be mandatory. Anything less is completely unacceptable."