Petition tabled in PEI: thousands call for end to trapping

Province House in downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Credit: Getty Images / onepony

A grassroots, citizen-led effort to ban trapping in Prince Edward Island continues to grow and gain momentum.

The voices of thousands of citizens across the province are being heard by elected officials, as a petition to ban trapping was tabled in the PEI Legislative Assembly on April 5, 2024. 1866 citizens signed the April 5 petition; this is in addition to two previous petitions tabled in November 2023 which garnered over 500 signatures.

The petition, presented by MLA Peter Bevan-Baker, calls on the government to ban commercial trapping and snaring, and for the government to develop public education for human-wildlife coexistence. The calls for change have been sparked by numerous dogs killed or injured by traps in the province, including Caspie, a four-year-old Great Pyrenees who was tragically killed by a neck snare in December 2022.

Read More: Group petitioning government to ban trapping, snaring on PEI

These calls are focused on provincial trapping regulations and do not seek to interfere with the cultural practices of Indigenous Peoples on Epekwitk (PEI). Local advocates note that all reported trapping incidents involving companion animals have been non-Indigenous trappers, and thus fall under provincial regulations and licensing.

Movement to protect pets and wildlife in PEI

The effort to shift policies and laws away from trapping and towards wildlife coexistence is being driven by local advocates, including Rene Lombard and Jennifer O’Brien. Rene and Jennifer are community organizers who have worked tirelessly meeting with citizens, elected officials, animal welfare experts, and various organizations to bring forward trapping concerns from citizens to the government. They provided statements to The Fur-Bearers to provide more information about the campaign.

"The petition to ban trapping and snaring in PEI began as my university project in 2016. I am overjoyed with the renewed energy that this campaign has experienced in the past year. The group of organizers, volunteers, experts, and members of government who have shown their support are the key to our incredible momentum. The public wants change - people recognize that trapping and snaring is clearly inhumane and unnecessary. We are providing data-backed solutions and non-lethal alternatives to trapping. Co-existence is key. We are fighting to protect all animals. They are here with us, not for us."

- Jennifer O’Brien

“Once our campaign group started collecting signatures for this petition, we realized that we were not only standing up for the animals harmed and killed by this activity. We were also providing a platform for the overwhelming majority of islanders who believe that trapping and snaring is no longer acceptable or necessary in the world today and to let government know we expect legislation to start reflecting these sentiments. Most islanders love our wildlife and want to see them protected, not subjected to inhumane practices any longer.”

- Rene Lombard

Advocates Rene Lombard and Jennifer O’Brien at Provincial House after submitting the petition in the Legislative Assembly on April 5, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer O'Brien and Rene Lombard

Learn more and take action!

Follow the group’s Facebook pages to stay informed about the campaign in PEI, ways that you can support the efforts, and how you can take action.

Click here to follow the Facebook campaign page: Ban trapping and snaring on PEI.

Click here to follow the Facebook page: Islanders Protecting Animals

If you don’t have Facebook, stay up to date on this campaign by subscribing to The Fur-Bearers newsletter and following our social media channels, as we’ll continue to share updates from this campaign.

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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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