OTTAWA – National animal law organization Animal Justice is renewing its call for the PEI government to restrict or even ban the cruel practice of trapping. The call comes after the West Prince Graphic reported on the heartbreaking death of a dog named Cooper, who was killed in a beaver trap set on public land. Cooper’s guardian, Lynda Fortin, tried desperately to free him from the trap but she was unable to pry it open, and Cooper died in her arms.
Companion animals are at constant risk of being killed and injured in these killing devices, in part because provincial regulations are weak and heavily biased in favour of trappers. Traps can legally be set on Crown land in PEI, even though the provincial government encourages the public to hike on public land and bring their dogs along. Like Cooper, a dog named Caper was killed last year in a baited snare set near a provincial trail.
PEI also allows traps to be set as near to residential homes as trappers wish, while snares can be set a mere 200 metres away. Trappers are under no obligation to report the location of their traps and snares, leaving pets at constant risk of being killed and injured, and leaving owners in constant fear.
Animal Justice met with Environment Minister Robert Mitchell last February to ask the province to restrict or even ban cruel trapping devices, including a ban on trapping on public land. The Minister and his officials indicated he would consider restricting trapping on public lands, but so far has failed to outlaw the dangerous devices.
“Cooper’s tragic yet preventable death is the latest in a long string of companion animals being viciously killed and injured by traps and snares in PEI,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “Fur trapping is an incredibly violent practice, with animals often suffering excruciating pain before they die. It’s completely unacceptable that animals in PEI are at constant risk of dying simply because special interest groups are able to secretly place these dangerous traps in public places.”
Trapping is a niche activity carried out by fewer and fewer people every year. In 2015 there were only 155 registered adult trappers, representing less than 0.001 percent of the provincial population.
To learn more about the cruelty of the fur industry, click here.
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