The head of a trapping association in Alberta has confirmed that by-catch is “inevitable."
The Mountain View Gazette spoke to Larry Nielson, president of the Sundre Trappers’ Association, for a recent article. The story follows news of at least 15 cougars being killed in wolf snares, and at least two golden eagles being maimed by the wire traps, too.
Nielson told the Gazette that steps should be taken to reduce by-catch (though he admits he’s even had horses get caught by snares), and that snares are necessary as part of predator management practices.
Attempting to argue against this logic with trappers in Sundre would be nearly impossible, however, as they firmly believe that predator management is necessary, that traps are the best way to catch and kill predators, and that they are using the most humane methods available – all inherently illogical statements.
It is only by supporting ongoing science that shows how fallible snares and other traps are, as well as exploring non-lethal options to decrease livestock depredation (like Livestock Guardian Dogs), and listening to ecologists who are ringing warning bells about predator killing programs, that we will see change in our country.
Only by moving forward can we progress as a nation, and only by progressing can we correct the ecological mistakes of the past.