Area K director spearheads trap regulation motion

“On Boxing Day neighbours from Arrow Park took their 11-year-old dog for a walk off Baerg Road,” Area K director Paul Peterson told the Regional District for Central Kootenay in explanation of the motion he brought to the board.

Peterson was referring to the death of Nikki, the Yellow Lab who was killed in a Conibear trap just off the forest service road. The death caused a local furor, with several letters sent to the editor of the Arrow Lakes News.

Nikki’s death came just a week after another dog was caught in a Conibear trap in Oyama, but fortunately the dog’s owner was able to lever the jaws of the trap open in time to save its life.

Although many people were and are unaware of it, traps can be set near terrain often traversed by dogs and their owners.

“Turns out after a lot of investigation it was perfectly legal,” Peterson said. “The trapper was well within his rights to do that by law and so I think we need to look at the law.”

Looking further into the legalities surrounding traplines, Peterson discovered that signage is not a requirement, it’s a recommendation, one that trappers may hesitate to follow.

“The reason some trappers they say they don’t use signage is people who are in opposition go in there and wreck their traps,” the Area K director explained.

Peterson would like to see traplines further from areas that are used by the public, “and even if close at least put great big signs up,” he stressed.

The motion put before the RDCK board asks the Province to “investigate and legislate ways to prevent domestic animals from being injured in traps” and that traplines “not be allowed in recreational areas close to communities, rural area developments and residential clusters.”

“I would like to have made this a lot stronger motion, however an extra strong motion gets no reaction,” said Peterson. “This is so reasonable I don’t know how they could turn it down.”

The director hopes this motion will make it safer for people and pets in the province.

“To me having a wide open trap that size is just like having a land mine around,” he said, “I don’t want to get any more phone calls like that one.”


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