An animal trap found in the Linley Valley in 2013. (Photo submitted)

Seven years later, Nanaimo’s animal trapping bylaw still isn’t approved

Animal trapping bylaw requires provincial approval before it can be adopted

An animal trapping ban bylaw passed by Nanaimo city council nearly seven years ago is still waiting for the B.C. government to give the OK.

Back in 2013, Nanaimo city councillors passed a bylaw banning the use of animal traps within the municipality, after six body-gripping devices were found in Linley Valley. The move came as other municipalities such as the City of Surrey, District of Sechelt and City of Vernon passed similar trapping bylaws.

Unlike many other municipal bylaws, trapping bylaws – including Nanaimo’s – require provincial approval before they can be officially adopted and enforced.

But according to a bylaw status update posted by the city this month, that trapping ban is still waiting for provincial approval, despite being approved by council in November 2013.

A spokesperson with the ministry of forests told the News Bulletin in an e-mail that the government isn’t considering approving Nanaimo’s trapping ban bylaw anytime soon.

“The province is not currently considering approving any municipal bylaws on trapping wildlife, including the City of Nanaimo’s proposed 2013 bylaw,” said Dawn Makarowski, ministry spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement to the News Bulletin.

The statement was in response to a series of questions by the News Bulletin regarding the province’s position on animal trapping and whether the ministry would consider approving Nanaimo’s bylaw.

“The province supports trapping in areas and seasons in which trapping is safe and sustainable. Trapping serves many purposes, including wildlife management for public health and safety reasons. For example, beavers can cause flooding that threatens road safety and property damage,” said Makarowski.

While the province supports some trapping, it is considering requiring signs to be erected to inform people of nearby traps, according to the ministry’s statement.

RELATED: Hikers stumble on traps near Linley Valley

RELATED: Nanaimo wants to ban ‘barbaric’ traps

RELATED: Nanaimo city council approves trapping ban

Dale Lindsay, the city’s general manager of development services, said the trapping bylaw falls under what is known as the “sphere of concurrent” authority.

“Some bylaws you can pass without provincial approval but some require their approval, this being one of them,” he said. “When council of the day adopted the bylaw, staff were aware that it would require provincial approval.”

Lindsay said there isn’t much staff can do but wait for the province to make a decision. He said councillors could decide to rescind the bylaw instead of waiting around for provincial approval but that hasn’t happened yet and there haven’t been discussions around that idea.

In the years following Nanaimo’s decision to pass a trapping bylaw, there have been a handful of efforts by municipalities to ban the practice entirely, even as the provincial government repeatedly stated it was reviewing its own regulations around animal trapping. The Union of B.C. Municipalities, in 2013, endorsed a motion calling the provincial government to ban the use of trap lines and implement legislation that prevents domestic animals from being injured in body-gripping devices. Then in 2015, the province responded by banning the use of large body-gripping traps – sometimes called Conibear traps – on municipal land. Despite the ban, the devices are still permitted on crown land.

Lindsay said he doesn’t know how many trapping complaints the city has received in recent years, but said he’s “not aware of a significant number.”







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo releases his new single, Christine, on Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy Andrew Dodd)
Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo evokes return to good times with new single

Upcoming release ‘Christine’ among a dozen new songs written during pandemic

Premier John Horgan heads to his ride following his announcement that there will be a fall election as he speaks during a press conference in Langford in September. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)
Editorial: Majority needs to work for all British Columbians

Concepts of co-operation change as we go from an NDP minority to a majority

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who rammed a police car to escape an arrest attempt. (File photo)
Drug trafficking suspect rams police vehicle in Nanaimo and escapes arrest

Suspect still at large after fleeing from police in Harewood on Friday afternoon

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Island Health advising people to get a flu shot

People looking to get vaccinated should book an appointment, says Island Health

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read