Polk hears positive comments over decision to allow trapping

Published 4:36 pm Friday, March 1, 2013


After hearing many comments against the Polk County’s decision to petition the state to allow trapping of furbearers, commissioners heard mostly supportive remarks during a meeting held Jan. 18.

Trapping was not on the board’s agenda last week, but a few residents stood during citizen comments to commend the board for sticking with their decision, which the board made in January.

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Scott Woodworth said many times people stand at meetings to complain, but commissioners do a lot of hard work behind the scenes that the public doesn’t see.

He said it seems from people against, that traps are worse to have than shooting the varmit. Those same people, he said, would be here against firearms on your property.

Debbie Arceneaux said the last meeting she attended was “probably the scariest meeting I’ve ever attended in my life.”

She said she was really surprised at the amount of people who came out against this issue and that issue.

“I think what disturbed me the most is that we have a group of people that seem to be bent on the destruction of commissioners,” Arceneaux said.

Rickie McFalls said he has pictures of a friend where a fox got in his dog lot foaming at the mouth. He said he appreciates commissioners going with the trapping.

“I’m glad we’re backing the trapping because hey, the varmits, they need to be done with,” said McFalls.

McFalls said people against trapping are asking about dogs getting trapped.

“They say, hey, how about the dogs?” McFalls said. “I’ve got dogs. I keep them in the yard.”

McFalls also thanked commissioners saying he knows they took, “some real tongue-lashing.”

John Blanton thanked commissioners for listening to the state wildlife officers and biologists about trapping.

“These gentlemen know wildlife management,” said Blanton. “You listened to the professionals, you listened to the public comments.”

Blanton said most of the comments were negative and came from national groups like PETA. Blanton said PETA has billboards asking people not to fish because they have feelings too and they recommend using a live mouse trap to release them in the wild unharmed. He mentioned that these groups sent support to England and now fox hunting is banned in those countries.

“Your sport is going to be next,” said Blanton.

Commissioners also heard one comment against trapping during citizen comments.

John Major said he was speaking on behalf of the anti-trapping group saying he thinks commissioners should hold off.

“I just can’t see why you can’t wait and get some opinions besides PETA,” Major said. “We’ve rushed judgement so quickly.”

He said phone calls and emails have not been returned and he doesn’t know who is pushing this so hard.

Polk, Rutherford and Cleveland Counties have petitioned the state to abolish a 1975 law that made it unlawful to possess steel traps. The bill is currently in the N.C. Legislature with the first reading already passed in Congress. A call-in was organized earlier this month to the N.C. Governor’s office with 88 people calling the governor to say they are against trapping in Polk County.