Shasta, a 10-month-old Australian shepherd, was killed by a Conibear trap last month near Winlaw. Her owners want the law regulating where traps can be placed changed. Photo submitted

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Louis Seguin heard a cry from his dog and thought she had been attacked by a bear or cougar.

Instead Seguin and his partner Anik discovered Shasta, their 10-month-old Australian shepherd, with a body-gripping trap around her head. She was a short distance away from where the couple were taking a daily walk near their home in Winlaw, northeast of Nelson, on Nov. 23.

The couple tried to free Shasta, but didn’t know how to open the trap. She died less than 10 minutes later.

“She was so ready for life,” said Seguin. “We didn’t know these things were out there.”

Body-gripping, or Conibear, traps are a popular means of trapping — and killing — wildlife such as raccoons and beavers. In B.C., placement of these traps — up to a certain size — is legal within 200 metres of dwellings.

The trap that killed Shasta was next to a forest service road leading off of the Trozzo Creek trail north of Winlaw. Seguin said he and Anik have walked the road almost every day for 12 years.

Seguin added the trail is popular with families, but a conservation officer told him the next day the trap that killed Shasta was legally sized and placed.

“If you are going to put out these lethal traps, go up five kilometres, go up the mountain where nobody is around,” he said. “There was literally a house 200 metres from the gate and [they] put their trap [there].”

Seguin wants the trapping laws changed. He’s hired a lawyer and started a petition to not only change the distance traps can be placed from dwellings to at least two kilometres, but also to make sure they are marked with signs.

“It seems outdated to me, or just ridiculous.”

Obtaining a trapping licence in B.C. costs a $40 annual fee and requires completion of a training course. Trappers are also required to check their traps every 72 hours.

Blair Thin, a conservation officer in Castlegar, said it’s unusual for domestic pets to get caught in traps, but that it does occasionally happen. He added the most common complaints conservation officers receive are related to wildlife activity, or traps that have been improperly set.

There is no law requiring warning signs where traps are laid, and Thin said he understands why trappers don’t do it.

“They know that some people are probably against trapping,” said Thin. “So if you’re posting saying there are active traps in an area, then people will interfere with these lawfully set traps.”

That doesn’t fly with Seguin, who said he doesn’t want anyone else to go through the trauma of watching their pet die in a trap.

“It was pretty traumatic. It was just so out of nowhere, too. Just our usual walk but the accident was just so intense.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Product seized from a Victoria cannabis compassion club for a second time

The Cannabis Buyers Club has been operating on Johnson Street since 2001

Legion in Langford keeps things clean with hand sanitizer donation

Legion aims to draw in new members and volunteers

Victoria International Airport deemed the most efficient for its size

Ranking appears in a report comparing airports across three international areas

Driver slapped with $483 ticket for excessive speeding in Saanich construction zone

Police traffic unit reminds drivers to slow down in McKenzie interchange

Victoria police investigating chop-shop found in Beacon Hill Park

Police asking public to register bikes with them in case lost or stolen

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Most Read