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“It seems outdated to me, or just ridiculous.”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

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s Best of the City: This year’s winners

Readers smash voting records in this year’s poll to determine the best Nanaimo has to offer

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet starting Sept. 30

EDITORIAL: Let’s take steps to clear the smoke

Work needed to make wildfires, heavy smoke and poor air quality things of the past

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

West Shore man sentenced to four and a half years for sexually abusing foster daughter

Abuse took place over a three year period while daughter was between ages of 13 to 15

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs back on the ice for extended training camp

First exhibition game will take place Oct. 2 against Nanaimo Clippers

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Nanaimo RCMP seize firearms, ID, portable debit machine as ‘prolific offender’ arrested

Austin Carlson-McPherson, 24, accused of crimes in Nanaimo, Duncan, Port Renfrew and Sooke

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

North Island MP accuses federal Liberals of ignoring veterans

NDP critic critical of Throne Speech priorities

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Most Read