Cougars and golden eagles caught: case against snares in Alberta continues to mount

Damning information about snares in Alberta is revealing just how dangerous the indiscriminate killing devices are – to all creatures who explore the province’s wilds.

The CBC and Calgary Herald both reported this week that at least 15 cougars were killed by snares set for wolves this season, and two “sensitive species” golden eagles were injured by the same.

“The theory behind [snares] is that it captures the animal around the neck and throat area and strangles it,” former wildlife management expert Dwight Rodtka told the Herald.“It’s proven over years and years to be very inhumane. You’ll have the animals snared way back on their neck or around their jaw or around their foot and leg. A lot of them die of exposure and dehydration and hypothermia and exhaustion, and everything else — they can actually live for several days — and often do live for several days.”

By-catch – animals maimed or killed by traps that aren’t the intended target – are common, but reporting is only mandatory in Alberta for a handful of species. As we’ve seen in recent months, dogs are also common victims of snares, which are often heavily baited to attract predatory animals.

Snares are scientifically-proven to be inhumane, and are completely indiscriminate. It’s time for Alberta to accept that they have no place in modern society.


Write to Premier Rachel Notley and tell her government that you want an end to the use of snares in Alberta – and that the world is watching. If you’re a resident of Alberta, also contact your MLA (find them by clicking here). Please remember that online petitions are not considered formal communications by provincial governments, so letters, phone calls, or emails are required.


Stay on point:this issue is about the use of snares in Alberta– not anything else. Keep your comments directed to the facts and provide citations if necessary.

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Let us know what you hear:if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing

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