Letter: Ruby’s death shows need for trapping reform in Manitoba

Ruby, a beloved companion, died in an unmarked trap in the RM of Rosser while on a walk in January 2021.

The following letter was sent to Manitoba Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blane Pedersen. To send a letter to your the Minister or your Manitoba MLA, please scroll to the bottom of this article.


Dear Minister Pedersen,

We write to you following the tragic, traumatizing death of a beloved companion animal in the grips of a trap in the RM of Rosser. Catherine, who watched her family member, Ruby, slowly have the life crushed from her, has contacted The Fur-Bearers, as well as numerous levels of government, seeking answers.

The unfortunate truth is there are no answers that are acceptable to Catherine, or to the other families who lose pets – family members to them – in these traps. Canada is a signatory to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards, but the idealistic nature of this trade agreement cannot be enforced in the field and proves to fail to provide “humane” treatment of animals with regularity. A photo of Ruby, as she was killed in the trap, is attached for evidence. It took 30 minutes for Ruby to die in the trap, as Catherine watched on. First responders were unable to remove the trap, as was animal control.

While we appreciate that Manitoba has a long history of using such traps, the realities of Manitoba have changed. More people are outdoors, the distance between urban and rural is shrinking rapidly, and trapping regulations should be updated to reflect this.

The Fur-Bearers is requesting that the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba immediately require all trap locations to have large, visible signage. We also request that the members of the Legislative Assembly be briefed by the Ministry on the reported volume of by-catch or non-target species catch in traps, reported incidents of people or domestic animals being trapped, and the potential liability to trappers and the province based on legal cases in British Columbia. Following this, MLAs should consider ending the use of body-gripping traps, or at least prohibiting such traps near publicly accessible areas, trails, and roadways.

The Fur-Bearers will gladly work with your office to provide research and contacts to assist in the aforementioned briefing on trapping.

We look forward to a response in the coming days.

Sincerely,

Lesley Fox

Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers

Take Action!

You can write your own letter to support trapping reform in Manitoba! If you’re a resident of the province, please first click here (a new window will open) to find your local representative/MLA. Address your letter to your MLA as well as Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blaine Pedersen (minagr@leg.gov.mb.ca). If you don’t live in Manitoba, just contact the Minister. You can pull information from our letter and add your own, but here are a few tips to write an effective letter:

  • Speak specifically to the subject matter and what you want changed.
  • Be respectful and polite. Foul or threatening language does not help the animals.
  • Use specific examples and provide citations when possible.
  • Tell them what you want in response: a plan for change, not a canned answer from the Ministry about trapping.
  • Information on coexisting with wildlife for agriculture and homeowners are readily available as science on the subjects continues to grow and show success.
If you would like to also send an automated letter, please use the form below or click here to open it via Facebook.
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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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