Is trapping sustainable? We’re told it is by the fur and trapping industries. But history has proven that it is not sustainable.
The Sea Mink was driven to extinction by trapping. In the 19th century, beavers in Canada were nearly wiped out – it was only through early conservation efforts that the population survived the onslaught of trapping.
And when you consider the number of ‘non-target’ species caught regularly in traps, including domestic pets and at-risk or endangered species, it’s impossible to say this industry can sustain itself. It is driven by pure greed and without the ongoing efforts of compassionate conservationists, it will bring an end to more species in Canada.
Furthermore, the ability to properly protect wildlife when there are such lax policies and enforcement make it even less likely that trapping will not have a severe impact.
Trapping regulations are weak and extremely difficult to enforce, particularly because the number of enforcement officers assigned to this responsibility is disturbingly inadequate.
For example, according to 2013 documents provided to us by the province of British Columbia, there are only 87 field officers in the BC Conservation Officer Service. British Columbia’s land area is 944,735 square kilometres (364,800 sq mi). That averages 1 Conservation Officer per 11,000 km2.
As stated in a 2007 survey of environmental law enforcement and compliance in the province of British Columbia by West Coast Environmental Law, “[t]he new policy on deregulation, together with lack of staffing capacity meant that enforcement actions plummeted [in 2007] by more than half”.
At the federal level, spending on wildlife protection and ecosystem monitoring has also been slashed.
Photo: The wolverine is endangered in Eastern Canada (declared by COSEWIC in 2003) and are listed as a species of “special concern” in Western Canada (except on Vancouver Island where they are extinct). Scientists suggest that climate change, logging and lethal trapping have all contributed to the decline of Canada’s wolverine.