George, a beloved family pet, was killed in front of his owners. Valerie Strain watched, helplessly, as George struggled and ultimately died in the killing jaws of a Conibear trap.
But George’s story is garnering support – in fact, over 41,000 people have signed a petition Strain started, asking for a legislated setback of traps from public, multi-use trails. And the media is paying attention.
“When Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Bill Mauro reported to work Monday morning, he was likely trapped with more than 34,000 e-mails,” wrote Belleville Intelligencer’s Jerome Lessard. “As of Monday afternoon, more than 38,500 people had signed the ‘No Traps On Trails’ petition, requesting Mauro to prevent more animal deaths on Ontario trails due to baited kill-trap (Conibear) set up near all-season multi-use trails.”
As of the writing of this blog, that petition had grown to over 41,000 signatures.
Strain’s story is sadly becoming more common, as areas that were once a distant wilderness become popular attractions for all kinds of recreational users – from photographers to snowmobilers, and bird watchers to hikers. The Fur-Bearers attempt to track the number of domestic animals caught in traps, a difficult task due to the lack of required reporting or centralized databases. We are aware of at least several incidents nation-wide of dogs being injured or killed in traps since December.
We want to see an end to trapping. The commercial fur-trade is a dwindling industry and trapping is proving to be more and more dangerous, despite advances in ‘humane’ technology.
The Fur-Bearers is supporting Strain’s petition, and the notion that Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources should implement a setback from multi-use trails and a signage requirement for trapping in the area. It is vital that these steps be taken to prevent further injuries and deaths to companion animals, or heaven forbid, a child.
We will continue to push for an end to trapping through education and outreach. But this safety measure must take place in the interim.
We also recommend you contact your Ontario MPP, as well as MNR Minister Bill Mauro (email firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter @BillMauroMPP | Facebook), to tell them why this matter is important and what it will mean come election time.
We can make a difference for the animals – those who share our homes and those who share our open spaces – if we stand and speak together.
We have been working since 1953 to raise awareness about the inherently inhumane fur trade through campaigns like Make Fur History and Living With Wildlife. This work is only possible with the support of our generous donors and supporters. Please consider donating $5/month to become a monthly donor and help us continue to speak up for the animals.