The coyote bounty program in Nova Scotia started its 2014 season last week. And already, there’s been an unintended victim.
A Kings County resident was walking her dog, Fletcher, last week. Fletcher, who was under control and close to his owner, stepped into a leg-hold trap. The trap itself was on the edge of the road – legally positioned.
A well-trained pooch, Fletcher was told to ‘stay’ and ‘leave it’ so that he would not injure himself trying to escape from the trap. The owner’s husband and a neighbour were able to arrive on scene shortly after and successfully remove the trap.
Fletcher’s family contacted the Department of Natural Resources and were shocked to learn that the leg-hold trap had been placed legally. They are now hoping awareness will help prevent other dogs from being injured – or killed in the case of snares – as the season moves forward.
There have been numerous reports of dogs in Nova Scotia being injured in these coyote-targeted traps, but little has been done by the government. In fact, the now-in-power Liberals were adamantly against the coyote cull and bounty program prior to the last election. In one email to a constituent, a Liberal MLA wrote: “We took a stand against the coyote cull during the most difficult time of great hysteria – so it would be acted upon quickly. Ending the practice does not need any legislative work.”
Since the election, the party has been silent on the issue.
Further adding to the frustration of Nova Scotia residents is that the bounty program is continuing without any scientific basis – there have been no studies to show whether or not the program has been ‘successful’ and the $20 per pelt bounty remains in place.
Help us get the word out about these inherently inhumane traps and the truly humane ways we can live with wildlife by becoming a member of The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals today.