Trap kills family dog


WARNING: The following story is graphic in nature and may disturb some readers.

The provincial government is investigating a second incident involving a Conibear trap and a family dog in the Okanagan.

The latest incident - adjacent to MacDonald Creek Provincial Park south of Nakusp on Boxing Day, resulted in the death of an 11-year-old Yellow Lab.

According to a neighbour, a couple were walking their two dogs along the Baerg Forest Service Road when Niki bolted into the forest.

"Moments later, the serenity was broken by the cries of a dog dying an indescribable and preventable death," neighbour Brian Graham wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Forests, obtained by Castanet.

"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."

This is the second such incident in BC in a matter of weeks.

In mid December a dog was caught in a trap while walking with its owners along Oyama Lake Road.

In that instance, owner Leaf Angrignon was able to free his dog after about three minutes. The dog (Sophie) survived.

While trap lines are legal, Graham says in his letter to Minister Steve Thomson, regulations need to change making it mandatory for signs to be posted warning people of the existence of trap lines.

"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," states Graham in his letter.

"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?"

Trappers are not required to post signs warning people they are in an active trapping area.

Conservation officer Terry Myroniuk explains, “There is quite a bit of tampering with traps and there are lots of people opposed to the practice of trapping.

“If they know where traps are, they’ll purposely interfere with them and set them and the other side of it is there is an issue of theft from traps. Other people will recognize the value of the animal and the fur and we’ve had common reports of people stealing.”

Minister Thomson was not available for comment on the incident or the letter, however, a member of his staff did provide the following brief comment.

"Obviously this is a very unfortunate circumstance. We can confirm the ministry just received the letter on December 31 and is investigating.  At this time it would be premature to provide further comment."

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