NEWS

Creston, B.C., family raises fears over Conibear traps

06/07/2013 09:43 EDT | Updated 08/07/2013 05:12 EDT
A family from Creston, B.C., is raising concerns about Conibear traps after their dog was killed when the local diking authority failed to warn them the traps had been set near the family farm.

Two months ago, the dike authority hired a trapper to kill a beaver near Melanie Ferguson's family farm.

But there were no warning signs posted when their beloved collie-shepherd Arielle went missing.

Two days later, the Fergusons found the dog's body in a ditch where it had been tossed after dying in one of the traps.

Ferguson says while she was heartbroken by the loss of her dog, her bigger concern is that one of her three children could have wandered into the trap.

"If it had been one of the kids caught in that trap, who's responsible?" said Ferguson. "I just wish they had some smarts and told us about it. It was all preventable," she said.

The trapper told CBC News he feels so terrible, he's quit trapping and sold his equipment.

Under current provincial rules, he did nothing wrong because warning signs are not required. But the regional conservation officer says it's the fourth time in four years a dog has been trapped in Creston.

The traps aren't just a hazard in rural B.C. Pets have recently been killed or injured in South Surrey, Langley, Kelowna, Ladysmith and Gibsons.

- Read about a raccoon caught in a trap in Surrey

- More on Gibsons banning leghold traps

Regional leaders in the Kootenays now want the province to toughen trapping rules before a child is hurt or killed.

The province says it's actively reviewing its trapping regulations to better protect pets and people.

The province adds trappers in B.C. are trained and certified, but despite best efforts made by trappers pets can be caught in traps "on rare occasions."

The Union of B.C. Municipalities recently passed a motion asking the province to look into ways of preventing domestic animals from being caught in traps, which the province is investigating.

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