Killers in British Columbia are rejoicing: trapping season is beginning. For those who find the cruelty and pain of a wild animal pleasurable, it truly is like a bloody Christmas.
The use of leg-hold, Conibear and body-gripping traps becomes legal on a variety of species every year in October. And every October, we begin receiving news items of domestic pets, endangered species and humans being caught in the steel mouths of these traps.
It is not uncommon in British Columbia for a dog or cat to become the unintended victim of a trap when the season is on; in fact, it’s quite common for non-target species to be tortured as a result of a trap. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that up to 67 per cent of total ‘catch’ in traps is a non-target species. Unfortunately, the governments of BC and Canada do not believe it is important to collect data on trapping, so the exact figures are unknown. But we have seen an annual and steady increase in the media reports of domestic animals being victimized.
This week we will be contacting all media outlets in British Columbia with a warning. It is a warning we despise. Please be careful. There are no regulations requiring marking or signage of traps. There are no regulations requiring identification of a traps’ owner. And there is no way for a trap, an inanimate hunk of metal and plastic, to know if it is the intended fur-bearer caught, or your best friend.
Please visit the following resources on our website so you can be prepared if the worst should happen. And share the warning with your friends, family and neighbours.
With your help, we hope that one day we won’t need to give this warning anymore.
Photo of 'Trinity' in leg-hold trap by Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society