Trapping is a complex solution to the coyote problem in Collingwood. Trapping and hunting are legal and are used as policy strategies by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry MNRF to control the population of wild animals such as coyotes.
Animals causing damage or threatening to damage property (dogs and livestock are property) can be trapped.
If you live trap an animal;
- release captured live wildlife within 1 kilometer of where they were captured.
This would not be effective for coyotes as they will return on release in the area of 1 km.
Trapping is legal. Some find it cruel while nature and population control by government (permitted licensed hunting and trapping) is also cruel. The damage coyotes do is also cruel – the attacking and killing of pets is cruel.
The debate will continue and often prevents action to be taken by government to remove coyotes and therefore damage continues (killing of pets and livestock. The government fail to act because they are pressured to not act – therefore turning their back on the attacks and killing by coyotes. They try and spin a coexistence program so they do not have to remove coyotes. They try and turn the problem on residents and blame us for the coyote problem – suggesting we feed them and telling us to keep our pets away from the coyotes – but not telling us of the actual risks. Pets are being snatched off of leashes and from their own yards as a consequence of the failure to act by government.
Many people who drive this controversy are activist who do not suffer the loss of pets by coyotes or the constant threat from coyotes – but are in fear of damage to their own pet off of leash on private properties. Some are concerned about other animals in general which are not intended to be hurt from trapping but can and are an unfortunate consequence.
Governments are not dealing with the coyote problem because of the trapping controversy in cities. They are afraid of the outrage that it may cause. Often the activist are better organized and voice more protest then the residents who are suffering from the impact of wild animals roaming at large – coyotes in Collingwood attacking and killing our pets. Both parties have the right to their opinions but opinions should not effect the safety and legal rights of the others – which in case is the silent and concerned residents in Collingwood.
To counter the damage caused by wild animals such as coyotes; the government has created a $1.5 billion wildlife damage fund – creating many government jobs to pay for the over population of wild animals. This has significance to our issue – damage can continue from the coyotes such as the loss of pets which is indirectly acceptable to the government as they have thought by compensating farmers that the problem is resolved. The program has been mismanaged and farmers are not compensated as intended – government program gone wrong.
Some may suggest we consider a compensation program for pets in cities such as a $50.00 to 100.00 for cattle which is ridiculous.
Most residents will agree the loss of pets is unacceptable and the threat on people is very concerning.
Live trapping of coyotes by the use of neck brace is difficult to do but it is safer trapping to protect unintended animals which may get trapped – dogs off of leash or raccoons. They could be released and not seriously injured. Some trappers will not recommend live trapping as coyotes are smart and will likely avoid the trap. These traps can not be reused as the coyotes will smell them and not go near them – adds to the cost.
Once the coyote is live trapped it will have to be shot or injected depending on the capability of the trapper. The relocation is not allowed by law and would be cruel to separate coyotes from their pack and expose them to coyotes in another territory – fate of death in a territorial war.
There is a foot hold type of trapping which is the most controversial. It will harm any animal that steps in the trap. The problem is they are used on private properties in remote areas and people trespassing on private property with dogs off of leash and are caught in the trap. These people are often the activist against trapping. Ironically they are irresponsible pet owners who prevent us from acting as concerned residents who want to protect our dogs and children.
Trapping is a complex solution or we can coexist and sacrifice a number of pets and possible children at some point as coyotes become less threatened by people.
Some trappers have recommended a bait and trap approach. A dead caucus of an animal such as a deer killed by a car in the area – OPP often have to coordinate with the removal and disposal of a deer in a car accident. This would attract the coyotes to an area and would draw them from a larger area – pros and cons. An area could be blocked off with signage and possible police presence to allow the trapping area to be used in a controlled way to minimize and possibly eliminate damage to other animals. If we work together as the Town, OPP and concerned residents – we could make this work.
This solution would be several thousand dollars and would bring back safety to our areas. If they return we will better organized to implement a trapping program in Collingwood.
Residents can trap on their private properties if a coyote has caused damage or is a threat to damage. We have a very strong case. Our problem is not that we do not have the legal right to trap and remove coyotes it is who will do it and how. At this point residents are forced to trap to remove coyotes. Trappers are reluctant to trap in dense residential areas. We need support and coordination to make it happen – able to close of an area to trap. This would be much easier for the Town to coordinate but near impossible for residents.
Properties that are frequented by coyotes with a consistent path are ideal for trapping – if they are also remote/isolated which is difficult to find in the areas were we have coyotes. Town parks could be closed and used with Town approval and assistance. Waterfront areas are good areas as they are not frequented with walkers and dogs on leash.
Think about how we can work together and find a responsible solution.
Montreal is starting a trapping program;
Not a simple decision for all stakeholders involved but possible and it is a solution to our problem.
The more people who become aware of coyotes in Collingwood and the damage and threat of damage they are causing will help put pressure on the Town of Collingwood to take the responsible and required action to make areas in Collingwood safe again.
Perspective from a professional trapper
“Trappers are strictly regulated by the MNRF, and A.I.H.T.S. (Agreement of international humane trapping standards) so that trapped animals are treated humanely. R.C.R.’s relaxing cable restraints is another option, the coyote will be restrained just like a dog on a tie out in your back yard. Live traps by law have to be checked within every 24 hrs, but in this case I feel the traps should be checked 3 times daily so we can deal with incidental catches in a timely manner and we should be able to be reached to let pets out of traps as soon as possible a sore paw is a lot better then having it killed by a coyote!”