Illegal snares a safety concern in Kippens: councillor

Frank Gale
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The fear of a cat or dog getting caught in a rabbit snare is a big concern for Coun. Ken Meade of Kippens.

Coun. Ken Meade of Kippens displays an illegal snare, one of three that he found set near the end of Edward’s Lane in Kippens.
— Photo by Frank Gale/The Western Star

That’s why when he found three snares set near the end of Edward’s Lane in Kippens he called the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division of the provincial Department of Justice.

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officer Travis Clannon said the steel wire snares that Meade found were illegal and have been prohibited since 2008.

He said it was after considerable review and input regarding wildlife bycatch, most notably the endangered Newfoundland pine marten, that the regulations were adopted prohibiting steel snares.

Clannon said the marten has a higher chance of survival if caught in one of the two approved snaring devices. The first is a single-brass wire not larger than 22 gauge attached to a firm anchor, while the second is a six-strand braided wire — more commonly know as picture cord.

He said the small game season for rabbits is now open and remains open to Feb. 23. He said the only closed areas on the island portion of the province are in designated Newfoundland pine marten territory, along with designated wildlife and ecological reserves.

While Kippens has no bylaw in place preventing snaring within the municipality, Clannon encourages people to practise good snaring techniques.

He reminds small game hunters that fines range up to $500 for anyone caught setting illegal snares.

Meade said the area in which he found the snares is a heavily walked trail close to the ocean where some pet owners let their dogs off the leash. He also said the snares were set fairly high. He also noted the area contains a feral cat population and the snares are putting them at risk.

Meade said as a councillor, he wants to have a look at regulations within the town as it relates to hunting, snaring and trapping within municipal boundaries.


The Western Star

Organizations: Wildlife Enforcement Division, Department of Justice.Fish and Wildlife Enforcement

Geographic location: Kippens, Newfoundland, Western Star

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Recent comments

  • Alexander
    February 03, 2014 - 13:37

    Its truly great to see not only a town counselor take a firm stance on something but also to hear from a wildlife officer. Ive been beating around the woods for years and never as much seen a warden before. I have been stopped by officer Clannon now a dozen times in only the past few years. Its' reassuring to not only see our tax money at work but also to know our wildlife is being well looked after on the west coast.

  • Chruchill
    February 03, 2014 - 13:31

    Many of the comments are from people who are letting their cats run free. Domestic cats are responsible for killing 7 billion song birds in North America each year. In many areas, letting your cat run free is also illegal. Stop the cats.

  • k
    February 03, 2014 - 10:40

    As usual the people who are the greater responders are those letting their animsals run loose.. Is this against the law. One sided .

  • Gerry
    February 03, 2014 - 10:17

    While I understand the need for conservation, the problem I have is people letting their dogs off their leash to begin with & their cats free to roam wild, especially at night; especially on private land! I have 25 acres of wooded land behind my place. I always have had my small game license, etc for years; I made my own trails for my ATV on my OWN land for hiking, cutting dying, downed trees fire wood, and setting up snares in season. Yet I see folks on my land with their quads, snow mobiles, walking their dogs, snow-shoeing while walking their dogs on my trails. Which I have no problem: but they are told & know that there are snares, sometimes just off my trails. I've had neighbours riding their horse on my trails. I've warned them all that they use my trails on my land at their own risk to the point that I'v e told them if they have a problem, then stay off or I would consider them to be trespassing. Yes I beleive there should be NO hunting, trapping, snaring on or near residental areas. But if you are way in the back 40 during hunting season, or on private land, then the onus is on the individual to have their animal leashed. Their are now many municpalities, provinces that have passed laws where animals must must be leashed except in dog parks,due to facts of the possibility of natural hazards, disease (eg rabies), wild animals (fox, bear, moose, etc letting your animals run off their leash while strolling on some unmarked trail, is, to me, irresponsible at best...and as stated before, if government can pass laws on the type of snares allowed, then surely be to gawd, then they can get off their sanctemouneous proverbial arses & ban the sale of illegal snare wire...

  • Anita
    February 03, 2014 - 09:54

    I live in this area, and Mr. Meade is absolutely correct. Many people use that walking trail, including families with pets. My cat came home last year with a snare around his neck, one of his nine lives used up. I called the town and was advised snaring wasn't permitted in town limits. Now I know many would say don't let your cat out, but this is an area where mice has been an issue, and the only remedy is a cat. Besides, most, if not all that land is private, so whoever is setting snares is actually trespassing as well.

  • Mary McKim
    February 03, 2014 - 07:52

    Good on you, Coun. Meade! Better to take action now then wait till some cat or dog gets caught and suffers a miserable and agonizing wait for death. Any one who has a cat or dog companion is horrified at the idea of their beloved friend suffering so. For that matter, no animal should have to suffer such cruel pain and death. Bad enough when a properly-set snare catches and instantly kills an animal. But many times the snare isn't properly set and doesn't kill instantly. Instead it snares a leg and cuts into the flesh, dooming the animal to a long, slow, agonizing death. Or the snare is abandoned, sitting there for months or years until some innocent animal… your beloved dog or cat - gets caught. This is an inhumane and disgusting practice. If people feel they have a right to do this to any sort of animal, they should at least show some sort of responsibility… set them away from places where people live, set them properly and check them every day. Take responsibility for your actions. Don't condemn animals to die horribly and in agonizing pain.

  • Churchill
    February 03, 2014 - 06:49

    If any of the wildlife officers have gone to Walmart or Canadian tire in the last 6 years, they might have noticed that the snare wiring being sold there does not meet the regulations. That might be a good place to start. An outright ban on snaring within town limits would be a mistake. Maybe in that particular area it is not wise to snare, but much of the town boundaries are forest areas - no where near any houses.

  • Linda W
    February 03, 2014 - 03:48

    Several years ago I had my precious cat killed in a snare and I still wonder to this day what kind of a violent and painful death she suffered. As far as I am concerned snares should not be used in this day in age. I can understand shooting a rabbit, which is more humane. Snares should be outlawed, but for sure close to a community.