No warnings needed for animal traps, ministry says No warnings needed for animal traps, ministry says Accidents uncommon, saboteurs might benefit from signs, MNR says BY KELLY PATTERSON,
Provincial officials are standing firm in the face of a furore over trapping regulations, after a spate of accidents in which five dogs were killed or maimed by traps in Eastern Ontario "What's it going to take? Is it going to take a child to get caught (in a trap) before legislation is put in place?" asks Chris Colton, whose three-year-old border collie was killed by a trap on the grounds of the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club on Dec. 10. At the very least, she says, "we need some kind of legislation saying that, if there are traps out there, you have to post signs warning the public . so that someone is responsible." The club voluntarily posted signs after the accident, but Colton says if there had been clear rules about when and how to post warnings in the first place, her dog would still be Ministry of Natural Resources spokeswoman Jolanta Kowalski says authorities have no "Trapping is a licensed, legal act," performed by professionals who must take a 40-hour course before being certified by the province, she says. Trapping is even allowed in some provincial parks, such as Silent Lake and Egan Falls, she says, usually because it was practised there before the park was established. While accidents such as the one in Smiths Falls "are very unfortunate," they are not common, she notes, adding that warning signs are not required for trapping on Crown As for privately owned land, warning signs are required only in New Brunswick and Nova Signs are problematic because they alert opponents of the practice, who may then set out to sabotage traps, she explains. Last July, when word got out that the City of Oshawa had hired a trapper to prevent beavers from flooding an area near Goodman Creek, a man allegedly stole a trap to disrupt the operation. He was charged under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The trapping was needed, she says, "to prevent flooding of 400 No warnings needed for animal traps, ministry says Trapping is also key to controlling other problem animals, such as coyotes who prey on livestock or raccoons who damage property, she says. However, environmentalist Ian Huggett says concerns about animal control are overblown. Coyotes, for example, are often wrongly blamed when they scavenge livestock that had died before they found the carcasses, he says. As for raccoons and skunks, these can, as a last resort, be caught in live traps and relocated. A member of the Gatineau group Eco-Watch, Huggett says ministry officials on both sides of the border are blinded by their dual mission to protect wildlife and to foster the hunting industry. "It's a part of their mandate to promote trapping and hunting, and they do it at the His group is raising the alarm about a series of traps that have been found in Boucher Forest in Aylmer, where hikers have come across wire snares and large traps on municipal land just minutes from a popular off-leash dog park. In December, Danielle Solimka found 10 traps -- including four large-jawed traps -- there. Last year, her Cairns terrier, Parker, was caught in a snare trap in the forest. After freeing him she spotted other traps nearby and, worried that a child or dog would come upon them, sprang them, injuring her arm when one trap snapped shut around her Solimka wants Quebec officials to at least warn the public of the risk. "Why don't they put a sign up? 'Live traps, beware.' Animals can't read, so you won't be Watch a video showing the traps Danielle Solimka found in Boucher Forest in Aylmer, at


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