Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Should Trapping Be Banned in British Columbia?

© Othmar Vohringer
(This column has been originally published in the Merritt Herald)

I got the idea for this column after giving an interview to Cam Donavin from the Merritt Radio station Q101. In the interview I was asked about my take on trapping and the anti-trapping petitions that are being circulated in Merritt, among other towns. After the interview I came to the conclusion that there is more to be said about the issue then can be said in two minutes on the radio.
In order for petitions to effect change to a particular law it needs several thousand signatures and they all must be from eligible British Columbia voters and not, as is often the case with animal rights engineered petitions, minors and foreigners. Often animal rights activists attempt to gain momentum for their agendas by using emotional appeals (think: “Bambi”) to bring their ideas across. To do that animal rights are often willing to fabricate information or grossly exaggerate.

Claims about phone calls from throughout the region to the petitioner regarding pet dogs having been killed or badly injured in traps have not turned up in police and conservation office reports.

Would a distressed pet owner in the face of such a scenario search the phone book for animal shelters in Merritt instead of calling 911? I find such an idea farfetched.

Pursuant to the BC Wildlife Act a person commits a serious offense to let a dog hunt or pursue wildlife, except as it is in accordance with existing regulations. A supervised dog is not likely to get caught in a trap …unless the owner of the animal is negligent and allows it to roam at will.

As a means of “non-violent” wildlife control animal rights often propose short sighted ideas in jurisdictions that find favour with them. But what they don’t mention in these proposals is that most “non-violent” measures they advocate do not actually offer solutions to wildlife population control. When we lived in Langley the town was approached by an animal rights group and persuaded to choose their solution of reducing the over population and consequent problems of beaver activity. Instead of allowing trappers to come in and remove the surplus animals permanently they chose to trap and relocate the beavers into other areas where they no doubt carried on as before…they continued to dam up canals and clog drainage pipes in other parts of the community. This was a hugely expensive “non-violent beaver management program” that simply put the problem off for two years; the city reversed its earlier decision and hired trappers to do the job correctly.

So should trapping be banned in British Columbia? Absolutely not! When we discuss wildlife management we need to approach it from a scientific aspect, not an emotional aspect, if we want to have any measure of balance. The reason why Canada, and America, is so successful in wildlife management, at a minimal cost to taxpayers, is because we realized that hunting and trapping are the only effective methods of wildlife management and conservation. For those that worry about the “humane” aspect of hunting and trapping, it is far more humane than any methods Mother Nature applies.

What's your take on this?

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