British Columbia is heading to the polls this month and that means candidates want to hear from voters – a perfect opportunity to talk about the realities of trapping that put wildlife, pets and families at risk.
The first steps are about finding your candidates. If you’re not sure which riding you live in, click here to access Elections’ B.C. interactive map tool. Next, locate who the candidates are in your riding. Click here to see a complete list (sorted by electoral district). Simply Google their name and the party they belong to for the fastest way to find their contact information!
What They Need To Know
There are numerous issues that matter to each individual voter – but if you’re concerned about trapping, here are some points to include when emailing or conversing with your candidate.
Fast facts they may not know:
- Leg-hold traps are still legal (only the “toothed” models are prohibited)
- Warning signs are not required
- Traps can be set 200 metres from a school or home
- Animals listed as “special concern” including the wolverine can be still be trapped and killed
- A license is not required to purchase a trap
- A license is not required to set a trap on private property
- Trapping doesn’t resolve conflict or “nuisance” interactions; it can even increase them.
- Pets get killed and injured in traps regularly. According to documents obtained via Freedom of Information (FNR-2015-51526, pg. 3 of 812), The Fur-Bearers learned that the government has long known traps kill pets. In a briefing note, government officials note that from 2003 to 2010 at least 85 pets were reported caught or killed by traps, with an acknowledgement that the number is likely much higher. That’s eight pets per year.
- No meaningful change to keep families and pets safe. Since at least 2014, The Fur-Bearers have advocated for required signage in an area when traps are active, increased setbacks from trails and properties, and to give municipalities the right to prohibit dangerous traps (which has been the subject of multiple UBCM motions brought forward by municipalities). None of these changes have been implemented.
- According to government documents, there are only 1,200 active trappers in British Columbia. In 2019, the state of California banned commercial and recreational trapping. “The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 argues that the small number of active trappers in the state cannot afford to pay the full cost of implementing and regulating their industry as required by law.” Furthermore, “Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who introduced the legislation, said it was time to end fur trapping. “It seems especially cruel, obviously, and it’s just unnecessary and costly,” she said. (Sahagun, L., Willon, P, 2019).
Once you’ve passed this information on, the next step is to ask questions:
- What will you and your party do to directly address these concerns through policy?
- What is your stance on banning traps or increasing regulations to protect families and pets?
- How will you hold yourself and your party accountable to this should you be elected?
For more information, candidates are encouraged to visit BanTraps.ca to learn how and why action against traps is needed for public safety and the security of wildlife and our natural spaces.