A White Rock resident calls out the “sadistic” practice of leg-hold traps after a juvenile raccoon visited his patio with a trap clamped to its paw.
Frank Groff, who lives on West Beach, said somebody is setting leg-hold traps near Marine Drive, west of Bayview Park. The circumstance and location are “identical” to a situation in 2015 that saw a mother raccoon trapped twice, Groff added.
After public outrage from residents, a wildlife organization and the mayor of the day, the trapping seemed to stop, he said, only to begin again six years later.
“The one we talked about in 2015, she lost her front paw and her back left leg. She is still alive. We see her periodically, which is hard to believe because she really doesn’t move very well,” Groff said. “I believe this is one of her babies because I have seen this one with her in the backyard.”
Groff said the juvenile raccoon “kind of just drags” the leg-hold trap along. He doesn’t know who is setting the traps, or whether they are being set on private or public land.
Groff, who owns three cats, said the traps pose a risk to young children and pets.
“I would hate to have one of them caught in one,” he said.
Coun. Helen Fathers, who was also a councillor when the 2015 trapping incident was made public, agreed with Groff that the traps pose a risk to public safety.
She said trapping is not regulated by the City of White Rock bylaws, but rather the province.
Regardless, Fathers said, “it’s just plain wrong.”
“All I’ve got to say is that it’s totally cruel for anybody to do that,” Fathers said. “It’s not acceptable, I don’t know anyone that would think that is OK.”
Sgt. Don Stahl, a conservation officer who is responsible for the White Rock-area, said it is illegal to use leg-hold traps on raccoons.
Stahl said if residents are having a problem with raccoons, they can purchase a live trap from a sporting goods store.
“They can do that without a permit. What the law says, (is) they can trap the problem raccoons in a live trap and within 24 hours they have to release it unharmed within 10 kilometres of where it was caught.”
He urged people with information on the recent trapping, or if they witness somebody setting a leg-hold trap, to file a report with the province’s Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) tip line at 1-877-952-7277.