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“It seems outdated to me, or just ridiculous.”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

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read