Our dog George was killed by a baited kill-trap on a public snowmobile trail in Ontario in 2014. Since then, we have been raising awareness of the issue as well as lobbying the provincial government to make long-overdue changes to our trapping laws. Recently, we launched a lawsuit against the province to compel them to address this issue.
Trapping laws are outdated and dangerous
Current laws allow trappers in Ontario to place kill-traps and snares on public trails, beside roadways, in Provincial Parks, on private property right beside your home – all the places we love to walk with our dogs, our families and our grandchildren. And all without letting you know the lethal devices are there. We don’t know how many dogs are killed or people injured by these traps every year, because no one keeps track, but we know of far too many cases. It’s all the more heartbreaking because these deaths are completely preventable.
We have the right to know when we are in the vicinity of these deadly traps. If we had known traps were allowed on our local snowmobile trail, we would never have taken our dogs there. Trappers should be required to place warning signs where their traplines intersect with public spaces. There should be a minimum required setback from public trails, roadways and private property lines. Some trappers place their traps 5′ off the ground to prevent dogs getting killed by them. But none of these safeguards is required by law. When a trapper places a trap right on a public snowmobile trail on Crown Land, as the trapper did that killed George, it is completely legal.
MNRF refuses to act
Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) sets out the laws regarding trapping in the province. For more than two years, we have been asking the MNRF to review existing trapping policies. Other provinces, (e.g. Manitoba pdf), have done public reviews and made common-sense changes similar to the ones we are seeking. Despite widespread support, including more than 80,000 signatures on our petition, the MNRF will not undertake the much-needed review of current policy or consult the public on this issue.
As a result, we decided we needed legal help. Our lawyers at Gartner & Associates are currently preparing the Application which seeks to compel an MNRF review and update of trapping laws in Ontario. We don’t undertake this lightly and we are determined to see it through.
You can help
We have had incredible support over the past few years and want to thank everyone that has taken the time to sign the petition, share on social media and write their MPPs and MLAs. We know this is a cause that many people believe in. If you are able and would like to support us by helping out with legal fees, you can donate here.
Be a part of history
If you or your pet was injured or killed by a trap, please contact our lawyer Suzana Gartner.
Stay up to date with our legal case by checking for Updates.
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