GRAPHIC IMAGES: Consumers need to be warned of trap dangers

A store-bought trap was the culprit in the torture a squirrel in the Vancouver area last week.

The story is common: homeowners concerned about rodents on their property took the advice of a big box store and bought what they were told was a humane trap. The snap-style trap is intended to immediately crush an animal and cause instant death. However, that is not always the case.

Just like the devices used by fur trappers, these small traps are simple machines; they cannot distinguish which part of an animal is in them nor what species of animal is in them.

Last year, we reported on a rare spotted skunk being caught by a similar trap; now, we have been informed by the Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA) of B.C. of a terribly injured squirrel.

A family brought the squirrel to WRA after he was found. Barely alive and clearly in pain, the squirrel’s jaw had been crushed. The severity of the injuries and the number of fractures meant the squirrel could not be saved; he was humanely euthanized by caring rehabilitators. If no one had located the squirrel, he would have eventually died of heat exhaustion, trauma-related shock or starvation.

A store-bought trap was the culprit in the torture a squirrel in the Vancouver area last week.

These slow, indiscriminate and painful deaths are unnecessary. Across British Columbia, traps like this one are sold without proper information being given to consumers. They are told that these traps are effective and affordable – and that’s about it.

It is vital that consumers are informed of the true nature of traps. Be they snap traps or glue traps, they devastate wildlife and cause undue suffering.

Residents who have concerns about rodents or other wildlife can look at our Living With Wildlife page for some simple tips, or contact a truly humane wildlife removal company like AAA Wildlife Control. Most SPCA or Humane Society branches are also able to recommend a humane wildlife removal company.

We are asking you, our supporters and lovers of wildlife, to act now. Contact your MLA and speak to the management of your local stores that sell these devices and tell them consumer awareness must be provided. Too many innocent animals have suffered. Help us end it, today.


Click here to locate your MLA and send them an e-mail or letter with your concerns. Download and print this page to provide to the management of any local store that sells these devices.

Sample Letter:

Dear (insert name)

I am writing you to request that legislation be enacted surrounding pest control devices such as snap traps and glue traps.

These devices are sold without any warning of their potentially devastating impact on non-target wildlife. As they are simple mechanisms, they are unable to differentiate between species or recognize what part of an animal is in their grasp. Snap traps can cause broken bones, loss of limbs and other horrendous injuries. Glue traps leave animals desperate to escape – it is not unusual to see paws left on the trap and the animal gone. In both types, animals can be left for days – or longer – while they struggle and slowly die of injuries or dehydration.

Consumers must be made aware of the ramifications when these traps are used. Please put in place legislation that requires retailers to fully disclose the possibility of non-target species catch, the extensive injuries and the truth behind the deaths the traps cause.

(Your name and address)

Photos provided by Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.


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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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