Kamloops man suing trapper whose device killed his dog

Kamloops man suing trapper whose device killed his dog

A Kamloops man is seeking more over $15,000 in damages from the trapper whose device killed his dog in November 2017.

According to court documents filed November 7, 2018 and obtained by The Fur-Bearers, Burke Nesjan of Kamloops was travelling to work along a forest service road with his 2-year-old Akita named Kuma. Nesjan’s claim states he stopped and let Kuma out for a pee break while checking his phone messages; when Kuma didn’t return when called, Nesjan found Kumba in a ditch making a funny noise.

“I ran down the side road and found him with a Conibear #330 trap around his neck,” Nesjan wrote in his claim. “He was still alive and I tried to remove the trap as quick as possible … I could not remove the trap in time as it requires a tool to contract the springs so the clamp around his neck would open. Kuma died in my arms after a significant amount of suffering.”

The claim indicates that the trap was located 12 metres from the edge of a mainline at a well-defined pullout location.

“I dont (sic) think that it is reasonable to set a powerful killing trap that requires special tools to open at a well defined pullout on a well maintained, high public and industrial use Forest Service Road,” Nesjan’s claim says.

None of the statements made by Nesjan in his claim have been proven in court.

He is seeking $15,288.50 in damages, inclusive of the costs of Kuma, veterinary care, and the “loss of companionship at work, immense mental anguish and suffering on Nov 14th and the months after.” Additionally, Nesjan has asked in his claim to “Post signage at main entrances to trapping areas that warn users of active traps in area and dates they are active.”

This case is strikingly similar to others wherein a powerful trap – be it a Conibear style or leg-hold/foot-hold trap – is set without warning in an area frequented by other residents and users. The Fur-Bearers are unaware of past successful cases of the owner of a trapped animal suing a trapper.

The Fur-Bearers will continue to monitor this case and provide updates as they are available.


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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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