Vernon wants trap clarification

Vernon asking UBCM to lobby provincial government to prohibit sales of traps to those without permit/license

Vernon politicians want assurances that only those permitted are using animal traps.

The city is asking the Union of B.C. Municipalities to lobby the provincial government to clarify access to devices that are used to control problem wildlife.

“We need the province to align its policies,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“It doesn’t make sense that anyone can buy a trap but you need to be a licensed trapper to set a trap.”

As part of its resolution to UBCM, the city wants the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to prohibit the sale of wildlife traps to individuals without a trapping permit or license.

The issue arose after Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals demanded the city initiate a ban on traps to prevent what it says is cruelty against animals and a safety risk to pets and children.

However, members of the B.C. Trappers Association opposed a ban, saying traps are needed among licensed operators to handle problem wildlife.

A legal opinion stated that the city would be getting involved in provincial jurisdiction if a ban was imposed.

Besides limiting access to traps, Vernon council wants the government to develop and promote educational programs on alternatives to trapping wildlife.

“We’re trying to be preventative,” said Cunningham.

“We want to raise some awareness about the issue. People don’t understand they have to be a licensed trapper to set a trap.”

The City of Vernon wants the provincial government to install signs in urban areas to protect people and their pets from injury by wildlife like coyotes.

The issue will be discussed by UBCM members at their September convention.