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Kelowna  

Leg-hold trap ban supported

It would seem Castanet readers are aligned with representatives of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

The organization reached out to Castanet after the story broke of a cat that got caught in a leg-hold trap in a rural area south of Penticton. The cat's leg had to be amputated.

Association spokesman Michael Howie says it's time governments banned not only the use of leg-hold traps, but the practice of trapping altogether.

"We originally wanted it to become more humane and realized it can't be humane. It's not possible," says Howie.

"Our goal is to bring an end to the commercial fur trade and to find non-lethal solutions to wildlife conflicts, which would in turn largely eliminate the need for trapping."

He says it's not possible to make trapping humane.

Along with trying to get government to put a stop to trapping, Howie says he wants municipalities to ban leg-hold traps.

"We are going to ask that municipalities prohibit the use of leg hold traps on their land. One of the greatest issues is the fact people don't know it's legal."

Howie says his association will petition the City of Penticton in light of last week's incident.

Provincially, trapping falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Officials with the ministry say if traps are set within municipal boundaries, provincial guidelines for trapping are as follows:

  • During regular trapping season (Oct. 15-April 30), individual permits are not required beyond the usual trapping licence.
  • However, the municipality/landowner needs to give their permission. The ministry suggests contacting the city if trapping occurs inside municipal limits.

If traps are set outside municipal boundaries (i.e. Crown land), then the trapper must be licensed by the province.

"It literally breaks our hearts when trapping season starts because dogs are maimed. You have seen pictures of this cat. Its leg was chewed up by this trap, and there is absolutely no recourse for them," says Howie.

"From mid-November to now, this would be the seventh or eighth incident we are aware of across the country of a domestic animal. This is the first cat. All the others were dogs."

Last Friday, Castanet asked readers if leg-hold traps should be banned. More than 78 per cent of you (645) said yes, with the rest (178) saying no.

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