Nanaimo officials voted Monday to discontinue the city's use of animal trapping as a way to manage beavers and other wildlife and have staff report back a year later on the results.
Council also voted to have city staff prepare a bylaw that would forbid body gripping traps, such as leg hold traps, within the municipality. Other B.C. municipalities, such as Surrey, have similar bylaws awaiting provincial approval.
Trapping has been a local hot topic lately, following concerns from residents who discovered legal traps on private property in the Linley Valley area.
City staff recommend that the city cease trapping altogether. According to city manager Ted Swabey, the city has contracted for trapping services approximately five or eight times within the last 10 years. In the past, the city has used traps to relocate beavers to other areas.
The subject triggered nearunanimous remarks from councillors Monday night.
Coun. Fred Pattje proposed the motion for a bylaw to prohibit body gripping traps, which have been denounced as cruel by various animal welfare groups. He said he and Coun. Bill Bestwick met with representatives from the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, "and we came away pretty well convinced that there are different and many and non-lethal ways of dealing with beavers," he said.
Coun. George Anderson was the lone vote against Pattje's motion, which he described as "almost a knee-jerk reaction."
"It's not that I think we shouldn't be doing something in regards to this, but we've just passed a motion to our staff that (says) we will look at this over a one-year period ..." he said, adding there should be more evidence on the table before a bylaw is passed.
The motion passed 8-1.
© Copyright 2013