Two raccoons suffered horrible fates on Vancouver Island. They were each found – within weeks of each other – after being caught in and dragging leg-hold traps for an unknown period of time.
Kari Marks of the BC SPCA’s Wild ARC (Animal Rehabilitation Centre) said she hopes the practice of trapping will end, and described the condition of the two raccoons as “absolutely sickening” in an interview with The Times Colonist.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals has been informed that an investigation is underway by provincial authorities into the use of these traps, as the trapping season for raccoons has not yet begun and the use of leg-hold traps is illegal on raccoons. The leg-hold traps themselves, however, are perfectly legal to use.
Leg-hold, body gripping and snare-type traps are indiscriminate; as inanimate objects, there is no way for a piece of metal to determine what has wandered into its grasp. Endangered species, domestic pets, and even people can be – and have been – caught and suffered in traps across Canada.
As there are no laws in place requiring identification of ownership for each trap, it is nearly impossible to know who placed them. However, we are aware that someone out there knows to whom these traps belong. That’s why we’re offering a $1,000 reward for information that, presuming investigation reveals these traps were illegal, lead to a conviction of the person or persons responsible.
In coming days, the BC Union of Municipalities will be meeting. On their agenda is the use of traps, culls and more. We’re asking each of you to contact your local councillors and mayors to tell them that you abhor the use of traps and want humane, long-term and sustainable solutions in their place; that you want a trapping ban in your community; and that this will be an issue you consider at the ballot box.
The trapping season in British Columbia is just starting. More news items like this will be apparent in the coming months, and hundreds of stories of pain and suffering will exist but never reach our ears. The cruelty of trapping can be ended, but only if you decide it must be.
Photos provided by the BC SPCA.