OPEN LETTER: Minister Donaldson, it’s time for you to take action and protect pets

OPEN LETTER: Minister Donaldson, it's time for you to take action and protect pets

February 13, 2018

Honourable Doug Donaldson

Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development

Re: Trapping of pets in British Columbia

Dear Minister Donaldson,

Dangerous traps are putting dogs, cats, and families at risk across British Columbia, and a simple policy change could prevent regular injuries and tragedies from taking place.

Several dogs and cats were injured or killed in common traps, often set legally, throughout the province in 2018. In some of these communities, it isn’t the first time a dog was injured, or a cat maimed; yet, residents remain unaware of the dangers surrounding them as they enjoy outdoor spaces.

By implementing required, consistent signage whenever traps are set, residents can make informed decisions: dogs can be kept on leash, or on shorter leashes; cats can be kept indoors or confined to property through humane means; and, families can make sure children know to stay away from the devices and remain on trails.

From 2003 to 2012, the Ministry knew that 85 pets were reported caught, injured, or killed by traps (eight per year, as per documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request). Municipalities including Nanaimo, Surrey, White Rock, Sechelt, and Vernon have attempted to create by-laws or requested changes to trapping regulations to protect their residents, and the province has not provided options. For several years, The Fur-Bearers petitioned the Ministry to institute warning signs, increase setbacks from publicly accessible trails, and require internal trapper ID tags to ensure enforcement standards, and the province has not made any significant changes.

While all this suffering occurred, the last government refused to take action. Now the ball is in your court, Minister Donaldson. Will you listen only to those who set the traps, or will you listen to the scores of nature-loving British Columbians who are at risk, and take action to protect dogs, cats, and families of British Columbia from dangerous traps by instituting common sense policies?

I look forward to discussing this solution with you and your team in greater detail.


Lesley Fox

Executive Director

The Fur-Bearers

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