© Frank Gale
Coun. Ken Meade of Kippens displays an illegal snare, one of three that he found set near the end of Edward’s Lane in Kippens.
KIPPENS — The fear of a cat or dog getting caught in a rabbit snare is a big concern for Coun. Ken Meade of Kippens.
That’s why when he found three snares set near the end of Edward’s Lane in Kippens he called the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division of the Provincial Department of Justice.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officer Travis Clannon said the steel wire snares that Meade found were illegal and have been prohibited since 2008.
He said it was after considerable review and input regarding wildlife bycatch, most notably the endangered Newfoundland pine marten, that the regulations were adopted prohibiting steel snares.
Clannon said the marten has a higher chance of survival if caught in one of the two approved snaring devices. The first is a single-brass wire not larger than 22 gauge attached to a firm anchor, while the second is a six-strand braided wire — more commonly know as picture cord.
He said the small game season for rabbits is now open and remains open to Feb. 23. He said the only closed areas on the island portion of the province are in designated Newfoundland pine marten territory, along with designated wildlife and ecological reserves.
While Kippens has no bylaw in place preventing snaring within the municipality, Clannon encourages people to practice good snaring techniques.
He reminds small game hunters that fines range up to $500 for anyone caught setting illegal snares.
Meade said the area in which he found the snares is a heavily walked trail close to the ocean where some pet owners let their dogs off the leash. He also said the snares were set fairly high. He also noted the area contains a feral cat population and the snares are putting them at risk.
Meade said as a councillor, he wants to have a look at regulations within the town as it relates to hunting, snaring and trapping within municipal boundaries.