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! Speak out against inhumane traps and lack of help for wildlife in Ontario

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April 17, 2007 The public is outraged over the death of this young beaver, found writhing around trying to free its front right leg from the cruel and illegal trap that ensnared it in a wetland off a public path in Ottawa. Two other traps were set in the bog, awaiting other victims.

Humane solutions for wildlife conflicts
The public are fed up with the inhumane approach that is taken in dealing with wildlife conflicts. As with all wildlife concerns there are progressive solutions that are based on prevention. What is particularly offensive in this situation, is that the beaver are simply living as they should be allowed to live in a wetland area. There was no damage being done to roads, etc.

Lack of help for wildlife
This incident also demonstrates the very negative impact of the loss of wildlife rehabilitation services in Ottawa. The women who rescued the beaver were given the run around and were completely dismayed about the lack of help. One veterinary clinic told them that they were not allowed to help the beaver, even though the rescuers were prepared to pay, without the prior permission of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources!

Please send a letter

Please lend a moment of your time to write a brief letter to the Ottawa Citizen against the use of inhumane traps in urban areas. Letters must include your full name, address and daytime phone number. See sample letters below.

The Ottawa Citizen

Copy the mayor

Copy your city councillor
City of Ottawa - City Councillors

Copy the NCC - assistant to Ms. Heather Chiasson, Acting Chair: lcousine@ncc-ccn.ca

And please blind copy us for our records
bcc: webmaster@wildlifeontario.ca.

Background Information
Apr. 16/07 - Rescuers free injured beaver from illegal snare on NCC land
Apr. 17/07 - Injuries force officials to euthanize Bucky beaver
Apr. 17/07 - Editorial, Unlucky Bucky

Bucky beaver
Bucky beaver

Cindy Barka holds up the trap in which she found a young beaver. She and another woman, Elise Hallewick, came across the wounded animal while walking their dogs near the Nortel campus at Watts Creek. 'It took two of us,' to free the beaver, she said. She then wrapped it in her jacket.

The traps are illegal, unmarked, out-of-season and senseless in their disregard for people. And the type of trap is inhumane, causing horrible pain and resulting in the animal struggling against the steel jaws holding its paw instead of the trap's capturing it live or killing it immediately. That's a terrible way to die. It took two people to pull the jaws of the trap off the maimed beaver. Wildlife officials determined that the badly injured animal had to be put down yesterday. We hope that the uproar about the incident will end trapping inside urban areas.

Letters ...

Ottawa, The Sterile City

Friday April 20, 2007

If you hate wildlife, you'll love Ottawa. You won't be bothered by pesky critters, in fact, we do everything we can to ensure our city is kept sterile and void of annoying pests. The sight of royal swans swimming by will never impede your view of the Ottawa River since we keep them locked up year round. And, as an added bonus, we've taken steps to reduce any run in with those dang beavers, our so-called Canadian mascot. We trap, maime, and kill those big-toothed furballs because, well, because they're a nuisance. Since Ottawa is the seat of power in Canada, we've also been able to ensure the proposed amendments to the Animal Cruelty Bill have never seen the light of day. And to drive our message home, we promise to do our best to keep progressive wildlife rehabilitation services from ever again being offered to those in the community who think it's a good thing to save, rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned wildlife back into the wild. Ottawa, we should all be proud.

Chris Roberts
Munster Hamlet

Who you gonna call?

Friday April 20, 2007

What a frustrating experience it must have been to try and find help for Bucky The Beaver for his rescuers. Do they call the OMNR, who are supposed to be the guardians of wildlife in our province? Hardly, this Ministry is so under funded for wildlife help, and has most of its funds funneled to a non existent rabies threat, they can barely afford gas for their vehicles. Call a veterinarian? One veterinary clinic told them that they were not allowed to help the beaver without the prior permission of the OMNR. No wonder, with such regressive rehab restrictions imposed by this ministry, and threats of fines for helping animals in distress, veterinarians are probably afraid to get involved. Call the Wildlife Centre? If only we had one in Ottawa. Again the Ministry has effectively shut down the only help animals had in this city. This senseless act of cruelty towards wildlife just living out their existence on one of the very few wetlands areas we have left them with reiterates the need for changes at the provincial level to implement a more animal friendly Ministry. We need the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Center back functioning as it used to, helping animals in distress.

David Petzold
Munster, ON

Inhumane Traps

With respect to illegal or "legal" traps in use in our city, one has to wonder why we are still treating the creatures with whom we share Ottawa's habitat with such barbarity. Does creating a "green and environmentally sensitive city" somehow exclude wildlife? The public is justifiably outraged over a young beaver's agonized writhings in an illegal trap found on a public footpath, but what about all the killing by trapping, shooting and gassing of beavers and groundhogs by "legal" trappers, the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa that the public does not see? Are we going to wait until a human strays into a trap before we call a halt to subjecting wildlife to such horribly slow and painful deaths?

How can we classify a trap as "humane", anyway? Because it kills faster and more efficiently? Does this somehow make the senseless killing of harmless animals any better?

Ann Coffey

Use humane alternatives

While the beaver that was trapped on NCC land at Watts Creek was trapped "illegally", the public needs to know that the City of Ottawa and the NCC continue to "legally" trap and kill beaver each year.

The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre believes that these out-of-date methods of dealing with beaver problems must be stopped. Other jurisdictions in North America are using progressive alternatives such as beaver deceivers or flow devices that keep the water at a level so that roads are not flooded while trees can also be effectively protected in a variety of ways.

We are eliminating or encroaching on wetlands and flood plains in Ottawa at an alarming rate. If we are going to allow housing and shopping centers to be built on critical wildlife habitat, the very least we must do is to build in some problem-prevention features. Besides, prevention is also a lot less expensive for taxpayers.

Beavers are an important species in creating valuable wetlands and conserving biodiversity. As Canada's national emblem they are deserving of a more informed understanding and respect.

Donna DuBreuil
Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre

18th-century mentality

The Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Re: Unlucky Bucky, April 17.

I cannot fathom why anyone would set traps in an urban area, especially when the beavers there have no impact on humans.

What a horrible experience for the people who found Bucky and who were forced to euthanize him, and what a cruel end for this young animal.

Some of us have moved on from the mentality of the 18th century when the treatment of our environment and wildlife was a free-for-all, and we want to see humane, preventive solutions. When the authorities find the person who set these traps in a space where adults, children, and pets walk daily, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

Yasmin Jackson,

The Ottawa Citizen 2007

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