No charges to be laid in dog-snaring incident
'Pet owners should be aware that we do have an active trapping season'
No charges will be laid in a Boxing Day incident in which a dog was caught in a baited snare and died.
Kim Critchley found her pet dog, Caper, dead after he got caught in a baited snare in Riverdale on the Bolger Park Road.
"From what we found, at this point in time, we do not believe there has been any violation," said Wade MacKinnon, manager of Investigation and Enforcement for the P.E.I. Department of Justice and Public Safety.
"The trapper is a licensed trapper, using the appropriate gear, he was allowed to be where he was.".
The snare had been set 330 metres from the nearest home. Rules say trappers must seek permission from residents if they want to lay baited traps closer than 300 metres, but everything outside that range is fair game. Many times, homeowners may not even realize trapping is happening in their area.
"He met all the requirements of the legislation," said MacKinnon, adding "he [the trapper] does feel bad.
"He's disappointed of course, but he was rightfully there and following all the rules."
They don't set their snares or traps intending to catch pets.— Wade MacKinnon, manager of Investigation and Enforcement
MacKinnon said the man had been trapping in the area for five years without incident. MacKinnon said the trapper told him he will no longer lay snares there.
"The trappers, they don't set their snares or traps intending to catch pets," he said. "We also understand that pet owners are very upset about this, and the possibility of them coming across snares and/or traps while they're out walking their family pets."
MacKinnon said pet owners should be aware that P.E.I. has an active snaring season from Nov. 13 to Jan. 31 for coyote and fox.
6 dogs accidentally snared this season
P.E.I. has about 130 licensed trappers who trap — with permission — on private land and are allowed to use most provincial property, with the exception of provincial parks or along the Confederation Trail.
"People should use caution," concluded MacKinnon, adding that his department had reports of five other dogs accidentally caught in snares on P.E.I. this season. All of them survived.
He said there are fewer complaints and violations on P.E.I. this year because there is less trapping. MacKinnon said fur prices are down dramatically, due to decreased demand in China and Russia.
With files from Angela Walker