Shasta, a 10-month-old Australian shepherd, was killed by a Conibear trap last month near Winlaw. Her owners want the law regulating where traps can be placed changed. Photo submitted

Shasta, a 10-month-old Australian shepherd, was killed by a Conibear trap last month near Winlaw. Her owners want the law regulating where traps can be placed changed. Photo submitted

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Louis Seguin heard a cry from his dog and thought she had been attacked by a bear or cougar.

Instead Seguin and his partner Anik discovered Shasta, their 10-month-old Australian shepherd, with a body-gripping trap around her head. She was a short distance away from where the couple were taking a daily walk near their home in Winlaw, northeast of Nelson, on Nov. 23.

The couple tried to free Shasta, but didn’t know how to open the trap. She died less than 10 minutes later.

“She was so ready for life,” said Seguin. “We didn’t know these things were out there.”

Body-gripping, or Conibear, traps are a popular means of trapping — and killing — wildlife such as raccoons and beavers. In B.C., placement of these traps — up to a certain size — is legal within 200 metres of dwellings.

The trap that killed Shasta was next to a forest service road leading off of the Trozzo Creek trail north of Winlaw. Seguin said he and Anik have walked the road almost every day for 12 years.

Seguin added the trail is popular with families, but a conservation officer told him the next day the trap that killed Shasta was legally sized and placed.

“If you are going to put out these lethal traps, go up five kilometres, go up the mountain where nobody is around,” he said. “There was literally a house 200 metres from the gate and [they] put their trap [there].”

Seguin wants the trapping laws changed. He’s hired a lawyer and started a petition to not only change the distance traps can be placed from dwellings to at least two kilometres, but also to make sure they are marked with signs.

“It seems outdated to me, or just ridiculous.”

Obtaining a trapping licence in B.C. costs a $40 annual fee and requires completion of a training course. Trappers are also required to check their traps every 72 hours.

Blair Thin, a conservation officer in Castlegar, said it’s unusual for domestic pets to get caught in traps, but that it does occasionally happen. He added the most common complaints conservation officers receive are related to wildlife activity, or traps that have been improperly set.

There is no law requiring warning signs where traps are laid, and Thin said he understands why trappers don’t do it.

“They know that some people are probably against trapping,” said Thin. “So if you’re posting saying there are active traps in an area, then people will interfere with these lawfully set traps.”

That doesn’t fly with Seguin, who said he doesn’t want anyone else to go through the trauma of watching their pet die in a trap.

“It was pretty traumatic. It was just so out of nowhere, too. Just our usual walk but the accident was just so intense.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read