Sask. Trappers Association says snare that killed family dog likely set by 'bad apple'
Trappers Association president says most trappers law-abiding, responsible
The Saskatchewan Trappers Association is offering its condolences to a family that lost its pet in a coyote snare, but says regulations around trapping in the province are adequate.
Calls for increased regulations recently surfaced after Gord, a one-year-old St. Bernard who belonged to Virginia Bells and her family, was found dead in a snare in a wooded area close to their home south of Humboldt.
"I want to say I'm very sorry for the loss," said Wrangler Hamm, president of the Saskatchewan Trappers Association. "The family is going through a very difficult time right now and my heart goes out to them."
He said the rogue snare was likely the result of a "bad apple." Hamm said when a snare is set illegally, there's a chance it was done unintentionally, but that there are laws in place trappers need to follow.
"When something bad happens," he said. "These people cannot be titled the same as the people who are trapping and hunting and doing other things ethically."
Ministry of Environment regulations state that anyone who wants to trap requires the appropriate paperwork to do so before setting any snares. Snares cannot be set within 500 meters of an occupied dwelling without permission from the property owner.
When a snare is set within a one mile radius of a populated area, the person who set it is required to contact nearby property owners and inform them of the snare, but they do not require landowners' permission to set them.
The snare that resulted in Gord's death was found to be 460 metres away from the Bells' home. The Bells family says a Saskatchewan Conservation Officer told them someone has been charged as a result of the snare.
Hamm said he hopes to meet with the Ministry of Environment to ensure them that regulations in place are adequate. He said the Trappers Association's door is always open to the Ministry, noting he also hopes to hear any questions or concerns the Bells family may have.
"Moving forward here, I do hope that we can have some honest discussions and try to resolve some of the concerns across the province," he said.