Published 10:26 am Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To the editor:

In response to the March 4 article, “Polk hears positive comments over decision to allow trapping,” I missed the Feb. 18 meeting, but would like to respond to comments made regarding that meeting.

To Scott Woodworth who spoke about people against trapping, claiming, “Those same people would be here against firearms on your property,” I’d like to say that of course, he has no idea the opinions of anti-trapping people on any issue other than trapping. But he brings up an interesting point.

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The trapping issue actually transcends party or political stance. Most people —liberal, conservative and between — love their pets and want them to be safe. 80 percent of Americans favor viewing wildlife and not killing it, according to the YouTube documentary on trapping, “Cull of the Wild.”

To Rickie McFalls, who spoke to the safety of pets, saying, “I’ve got dogs. I keep them in the yard,” I’d like to point out that many pet owners enjoy hiking, biking, riding and hunting with their dogs, and don’t confine them to their yards at all times. Those pet owners will be putting their dogs at great risk of serious injury, suffering and death if the commissioners get their way.

John Blanton praised the commissioners, saying, “You listened to the professionals, you listened to the public comments,” seeming to forget that the commissioners only listened to the public after they had voted to request the reinstatement of trapping, and ignored their comments.

Mr. Blanton claimed that most comments came from national groups like PETA. I can’t confirm or deny that, as I wasn’t there, but I am certain that those groups are watching to see how the issue is resolved here. Our situation is unique in that most of the country and even the world is banning inhumane trapping on a huge scale, and our county commissioners are working to bring it back. It’s unheard of, really, so yes, PETA is interested, as are other animal rights groups.

Mr. Blanton warns, “Your sport is going to be next,” and he’s right if your sport involves inhumane cruelty and the torture of animals.

I was present at the March 4 commissioners’ meeting, so I witnessed citizens’ comments on trapping for that meeting myself. There were two — both detailed reports on research done on trapping — research that should have been done by the commissioners before their vote, rather than by citizens.

Deborah O’Donnell reported on her interviews with biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and her discovery of a federal assistance program — the BMAP (Beaver Management Assistance Program) that assists the department of transportation, local government and private landowners in non-lethal methods of controlling beavers, and is used by many other counties in North Carolina.

Why wasn’t this kind of research done by the commissioners before their vote? And now that private citizens are uncovering so much information to support an anti-trapping stance, why haven’t the commissioners rescinded their request to change the law?

– Susan McNabb, Tryon