Archived Story

Petition circulates against furbearer trapping

Published 8:54am Monday, January 28, 2013

Beaver traps are made to kill beavers, but can only be placed in the water, Jenkins said. Coyote traps are made to trap the animal’s leg and Jenkins said he’s put his hand in one and not been harmed.

Jenkins personally killed 21 coyotes last year and said coyotes and beavers have become a real nuisance in Polk County. He said people really should worry about rabid coyotes due to the growth in the species’ population here.

“I’ve never seen a pet be harmed by a trap,” said Jenkins. “There’s a thousand times more chance of losing your pet to a coyote than your pet getting trapped.”

Coyote traps are made not to harm the animals, Jenkins said, because many trappers sell coyotes and they aren’t worth money if they are injured.

“Trapping is not like people make it out to be,” he said.

Jenkins mentioned the rise in rabid animals in Polk County and said that is a real threat to pets and residents. He said he has people in some areas of the county scared to let their children outside due to the number of coyotes seen.

The coyote problem has grown so much that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently passed a rule that people can spotlight coyotes at night to kill them. Jenkins said he can trap far many more coyotes than he could ever kill otherwise.

A few years ago, a rabid coyote attacked a child in Buncombe County, Jenkins said, and it’s only a matter of time before something similar happens here.

Beavers are causing problems for farmers and other residents, with Lake Adger being one area. Jenkins said he gets calls frequently due to beavers damaging trees and causing erosion problems at Lake Adger.

There are also two places that flood the road due to beavers in the Lake Adger area, he said.

At the Jan. 7 county commissioner meeting several residents spoke in favor of the county petitioning the state to allow legal furbearer trapping during trapping season.

Former local wildlife officers and local agricultural residents spoke in favor of trapping furbearers and told of the damage nuisance animals are causing.

Summers said there are many other ways people can deal with nuisance animals that do not require animal suffering.

She said the Humane Society of the United States advocates education and “hazing,” making animals like coyotes uncomfortable when they approach human habitation.

“There are live-release traps, which allow the non-target species to simply be released back into the wild. Keeping pet food and pets indoors from dusk to dawn and covering smelly trash helps keep nuisance animals away. And llamas, donkeys and Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) will keep coyotes at bay and protect livestock,” Summers said. “These are humane solutions and they work.”

Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution in favor of the state allowing legal furbearer trapping in Polk County, which was sent to Sen. Hise and Rep. Whitmire to sponsor.

  • Susan McNabb

    An update on the petition: it now has over 12,000 signatures.

    House bill 33 was filed yesterday.

    Regarding the indiscrimate nature of the traps, here’s a quote from an article in The Sacramento Bee, dated 4-29-12:

    “With steel traps, wire snares and poison, agency employees have accidentally killed more than 50,000 animals since 2000 that were not problems, including federally protected golden and bald eagles; more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets; and several species considered rare or imperiled by wildlife biologists.”

  • Susan McNabb

    Mr. Jenkins has never seen a pet harmed by a trap? If he has access to Google, he can see thousands and learn why these traps should remain illegal. Did the commissioners study this issue before they voted?

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