U of C removes animal traps from park following complaints

Dogwalkers are concerned about foot hold traps that have been placed in Nose Hill Park. The traps are part of a study being done by the University of Calgary and the city.

Foot hold traps were in Nosehill park as part of a coyote study

Leg trap

10 years ago
Duration 2:05
A dog gets caught in leg trap meant for a University of Calgary coyote study.

The University of Calgary has removed foot hold traps from Nosehill park after hearing concerns from several dog walkers.

The non-lethal traps were part of a catch-and-release study from the faculty of veterinary medicine in partnership with the City of Calgary.

The study involved catching coyotes to study their movements in and around the city.

The data was also going to be used to determine if parasites and viruses can be transmitted between coyotes and family pets.

The equipment was placed in Nose Hill, Bowmont and Fish Creek parks, off the main trails and only in areas where dogs have to be on leashes.

Predator study

Signs with the words "predator study" were placed in various areas in the parks.

But Conner Samber, who owns a pet, says the three signs he saw weren't enough notice.

"With the way they’re hidden because they are brown," Samber said. "So if you’ve got them underneath the ground, you’re not going to be able to see a brown leg hold trap and what’s to stop a little kid from going, ‘Oh, what’s this?’"

Alessandro Massolo, with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at U of C, said the traps are activated between sunset and sunrise when dog walkers are less likely to be using the park.

"I can assure you that this study was subject to rigorous academic ethic approvals prior to being undertaken and is entirely humane," Massolo said in a release.

"We did our best to mitigate potential risks and it is not our intent to have any animal hurt. We are taking this feedback, such as the readability of the signage, seriously into consideration and we will look into making appropriate modifications."

The city has now asked the U of C to halt the study so they can revisit the methods.

On Friday afternoon, all the traps were removed.