By Lesley Fox
Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers
Our fight against trapping in British Columbia and across Canada is picking up again. Numerous incidents of wildlife being caught and maimed, tortured or killed by traps reach us regularly; one, in particular, has stuck with me in recent months.
This raccoon was found and taken to a nearby veterinarian; the severity of the wound was so great, that when the medical team removed the trap, her leg was so grievously wounded that her paw simply, “fell off.” The decision was made to humanely euthanize her, and her kits were routed to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Fortunately, the two kits are now in good health and will be released to the wild when they’re ready. The individual who filmed this incident made the right decision: she did not have appropriate safety equipment to approach the mother or the kits. Documenting with video and photos is vital both for informing the public of these crises, but also for potential cruelty cases.
This is a true story that we now hear regularly. Traps are accessible to anyone, anywhere in Canada. They can be shipped to urban centres or sold in stores with no warning labels or other information. Additionally, there remains no legal requirement to place signs nearby active trap sites to warn passersby like families and dog walkers of the (often baited) danger. In British Columbia, traps can be set within 200m of a school or a house.
These regulations must be changed, and we are actively working on that; we have meetings with MLAs in British Columbia, MPs in Ottawa and are regularly speaking with municipalities about the role they can play. But one of our biggest challenges isn’t the fur industry or apathetic politicians: it’s a lack of awareness that cruel traps are still being used across Canada.
While the old-fashioned, toothed leg-hold trap has been phased out, there are still dozens of types of traps used across the country. The Fur-Bearers is launching an ad campaign (radio in British Columbia and online elsewhere) to let people know that traps are real – and so are there risks.
Today I am asking for your support: the only restriction to how far and wide our messages go are budgetary; due to COVID-19, our charitable status application is being held up, meaning we have to pinch every penny to make this happen.
Your support helps us plan for campaigns and respond to crises for wildlife as they arise with rewards for information in investigations, vital coexistence educational materials and more. As we rely entirely on donations to continue our work for the animals, please consider donating or becoming a monthly donor today.
Trapping is cruelty we can stop – and it starts with making sure the public knows the truth about traps and the fur industry. Thank you for your ongoing support.