- Baiting, luring animals into traps or to be shot
- Use of dogs to track, chase, terrify and attack wild animals
- Culls (including recent recommendations to actually increase the slaughter of wolves in an effort to recover the caribou)
- Poison use - strychnine, 1080, cyanide
- Bounties (the Government says that they do not pay or support bounties and yet in Northern Alberta we have a very strong suspicion based on reports that trappers are actually being paid by the Government)
- Killing Contest - the Alberta Government says it doesn’t support these activities but, just like the Government of BC, does nothing to stop/deter them
So much to talk about, enough to fill a book. Oh wait a minute, that’s been done numerous times and yet this still goes on.
But I digress, today we are here to talk about the atrocity of snares. Recently, on a tip from a hiker, notable photographer and wildlife conservationist John E. Marriott, uncovered a horrific scene of death and torture inflicted on many wolves that had been skinned for their fur and decapitated, other wolf carcasses, snares, bait, and even a live wolf caught by it's foot in a snare. That Exposed episode on this horrifying scene can be viewed by clicking on this link -
The really sad and sickening part of all of this is that it is legal to use these devices of torture. Yes, in 2019 it is legal to abuse an animal just because it is wild. Trappers, and the governments will tell the public that snares are humane because they "kill instantly", however the videos and photos speak for themselves. Not to mention many trappers own testimonials of coming across live animals still suffering in snares after days of being caught. Snares are banned in many other countries due to these very reasons.
In their own circles, trappers will tell the truth about snares (spelling errors are included as written)-
“Checked snares today and very last one held this coyote by two toes on the back foot, somehow he weaseled his way thru it before getting caught.”
“Only about two km south, we came across a wolves set but the sad part was that there was a yearling caribou cow caught in a wolf snare.”
“Put out a dozen snares yesterday. My first attempt at snaring coyotes. Today when I checked I had 2 misses and 1 live coyote. The snare was around the rib cage.”
“I’ve had a bad year for chew outs. One of coyotes I recaught this year had the previous snare high on the neck and the spring wasn’t even pulled off the trigger. He was just freshly caught again, with a good neck catch, was alive and voraciously chewing the snare. I have a Hutterite trapper friend that got one that was wearing 4 snares.”
“Not going to beat around the bush. Wolves that we have caught that were still live in the snare were collared ones.”
“He was still alive in the snare tork!!! When I came around the corner and this big and this big beast was thrashing around about 10 ft from me! He even howled at me twice!!”
“I caught a coyote this morning that had chewed out of somebody else’s set up. He was in rough shape and I’m glad I caught him and put him out of his misery. Who ever made the snare used the wrong size lock for the cable and it didn’t lock up right. I question how long he was in the snare but that’s another story.”
Response to above by another trapper :”- Friend has that happen also but around the neck. Worse case of water head he ever seen. It wasn’t just water head, real nasty and I will spare the details. Chew outs can happen.”
“In one of our wolf sets we came across a cougar! Still alive!! Jeeze was she ever mad! She had been there a while as her breathing was raspy and was pretty played out. I ended up shooting her.”
“I leave my snares our year round. Just close the loop and hang up out of the way. I don’t trap coyotes but if I did catch a mangy wolf I wouldn’t dig the snare out of its frozen neck, it would stay there and get thrown in the bait pile.”
“We all trap for the different reasons. Mine is for the fun of it…”
Make note of that last one: “Mine is for the fun of it”. Seeing this horror and killing a wild animal is fun for this person. See our page HERE for more information.
This is what the Alberta Government will tell you when you question the use of snares. “Many trapping devices have been certified as humane under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and many more have been rejected for use and are now prohibited. Alberta is currently engaged in a Canada-wide research project dedicated to the testing of neck snares, based on internationally accepted scientific principles. The objective of this research is to ensure that snare design standards and associated trapping practices maximize humaneness and minimize incidental harvest of non-target animals. The results of this research will be used to inform our regulations and policy around the use of snares going forward.”
Here is another quote, this one from a biologist: “But snares are not classified as traps under the Agreement of International Humane Trapping Standards. Seems that Dave Kay with the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch is unaware of that. Unless I am under false information, as I understand it, since snares are not classified as commercial killing devises they are not under the agreement... even though they clearly are commercial killing devises. Both Gilbert Proulx and John Marriott reference that in their respective work: Intolerable Cruelty and the Exposed episode.”
Now let’s revisit that last paragraph directly from a letter from David Kay, “Alberta is currently engaged in a Canada-wide research project dedicated to the testing of neck snares, based on internationally accepted scientific principles. The objective of this research is to ensure that snare design standards and associated trapping practices maximize humaneness and minimize incidental harvest of non-target animals. The results of this research will be used to inform our regulations and policy around the use of snares going forward.”
Think about what this means. The Alberta Government is involved with and funding a research project, testing the humaneness of snares. Tax payers in Alberta are funding cruel and horrific testing on live, sentient animals. Let that sink in. This type of research has gone on and on, in the past, showing that snares are NOT humane and yet the Alberta Government is still sinking money into this horrible activity to try and prove that it is humane. An update since we have got more information since the blog was written - The test facility is in Vegreville Alberta and the tests are being conducted on live coyotes. Watch for more on this nasty test facility in the coming weeks.
Yellowstone Park in the United States estimates an annual income of $35 million just from wolf viewers. Assuming that the trapper near Banff killed 11 wolves, he made about $1,600 on the sale of the furs, while our National Parks and our Province will be loosing potentially millions of dollars as wolves (and other animals) disappear from the parks. For $1600 worth of income for this person, it is safe to say that this is not likely a livelihood for him, but that he does it probably “for the fun of it”.
It is beyond time for this to stop but it will have to involve you and your MLA. Writing to the Premier or the Minister gets you these form letters from David Kay, or Travis Ripley with their misdirected and old, worn out ideas. Write and call your MLA. Use the information from this article, from our website and other legitimate and fact based websites, send them a link to John Marriott’s Exposed episode, and demand that snares be banned.
You can find your MLA by clicking this link: https://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/mla_help.htm
You can also call your MLA's office. If your call to your MLA is long distance, please dial 310-0000 then the area code and the phone number you would like to reach in order to receive toll free access.
You can write Mr. Dave Kay here:
Commercial Wildlife and Priority Species Specialist Wildlife Management Policy
Phone: 780 644-464