Time to ban leg-hold traps

Trapping is an inhumane activity that causes immense suffering to animals across British Columbia. No amount of trade agreements or testing has undone this simple fact.

Most recently, two AIHTS (Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards) certified traps have degloved raccoons, leaving them suffering for days as the skin was pulled back and rotted away from their broken and exposed paw bones.

Donation-funded wildlife rehabilitation facilities report receiving dozens of animals who have suffered from traps; humane euthanasia is frequently the only option following the devastation of “humane” traps.

Several municipalities have attempted to control the use of dangerous traps in their communities via by-laws and were blocked by your government or never received a formal response (District of Sechelt, May 2012; Surrey, August 2013; Vernon, April 2013; Nanaimo, October 2013; White Rock, May 2015).

We are aware of at least two lawsuits targeting trappers in British Columbia following injury or death of dogs; more legal actions can be expected as trapping continues.

And there remains no proactive inspection of registered traplines or charges against those who have illegally or inappropriately placed traps in recent years.

The BC government is obligated to protect citizens and their property from harm, particularly when that harm is the direct result of government permits and licensing.

Minister Donaldson, the trapping issue has straddled two provincial governments, multiple iterations of trapping regulations, and has not advanced, continuing to put families and their pets (which are considered their personal property under law) in harm’s way. It is time to end this suffering. We urge you to spend some time exploring the devastating injuries caused by these traps, and attempt to empathize with those who must manage the devastation of this activity, whether pet owners, wildlife rehabilitators, or those who simply come across a cruelly maimed animal.

Now is a time for leadership: stand up and say British Columbia will protect wildlife, pets and taxpayers by ridding the province of body-gripping, snare and leg-hold traps.

Lesley Fox - Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers

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