Legal and dangerous traps are across British Columbia, putting family pets at risk and causing significant harm to native wildlife, a message that will be heard by decisionmakers and residents in Victoria thanks to an ad campaign from a wildlife non-profit.
The Fur-Bearers, which has worked to protect Canadian wildlife since 1953, has three rotating messages on digital billboards on Patricia Bay Highway (near Mt. Newton Cross Road) in Victoria.
These include the story of a B.C. raccoon, who was caught and “degloved” by a trap considered “humane.” The raccoon, a mother who was still caring for her young kits, dragged the trap for several days, in constant pain, before she could be caught by volunteers. The extent of her devastating injury made humane euthanasia by a veterinarian the only option – her kits were taken to volunteers at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, where they will be raised and released when appropriate.
“The government of British Columbia is aware that an average of eight dogs and cats are killed or maimed by these traps annually, that multiple municipalities have attempted to create bylaws to restrict their use, and that wildlife rehabilitators are treating dozens of cases of tormented wildlife very year, yet have done virtually nothing to make British Columbia’s supernatural spaces safe for all,” says Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Fur-Bearers. “For several years, The Fur-Bearers and other stakeholders have requested common-sense changes to legislation, such as requiring signage or increase set backs from publicly accessible trails when traps are in use, all of which have been ‘active files’ with no progression. Residents need to know the risks and consequences their legislators are willing to take with the safety of their constituents, their families and pets, and native wildlife.”
The signs, which include images of the mother raccoon and her injury, as well as a dog and a cat, encourage residents to visit BanTraps.ca to learn the truth about trapping, how to release their pets from traps and how they can make a difference in creating a safer British Columbia for all.
“It is unthinkable that your best friend could be caught and killed in a steel trap before your eyes, in your own community,” Fox says. “But that’s the reality for far too many families. And it’s time for British Columbia to do better.”