Belleville will take a close look at whether or not it should ban animal leg-hold traps in the city.
Monday night, city council viewed a video telling the story of a beaver caught in a steel trap in a culvert at the north end of Haig Road in Bell Marsh, and weighted down with a huge rock.
Residents of the area, Doug Knutson and Chris Finkle, told council how they had worked to save the animal, indicating the steel trap was almost impossible to open.
Shortly after the incident they were all investigated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and could have faced dcharges. No charges were laid.
Councillor Kelly McCaw presented a motion to council to ban all animal leg-hold traps in Belleville.
McCaw tells Quinte News she’s concerned about children and domestic animals getting caught in the traps, and agreed with Councillor Paul Carr that Thurlow Ward should be included.
McCaw mentioned that across Canada 74 animals had been caught in these traps this year.
Other councillors mentioned the issue of children getting caught in such a trap.
Fire Chief and Emergency Service Manager, Mark MacDonald, told council there are risks involved. The city would have to ensure that flood plains are not created because of beaver activity. MacDonald said that how the city can manage that should be considered in any policy.
He also mentioned that farmers have “rights regarding their properties.”
Coun. Paul Carr called for a staff report and some development of policy and procedure.
Carr said, “The reality is we continue to grow our city and we’re actually displacing some wildlife one way or another, and we try to do it in a controlled way. The reality is we continue to urbanize, but we also have a very rural component where we do have farmers who require some ability to trap, obviously do so in a humane way, but in a way that is going to complement their agricultural businesses.
McCaw’s motion to ban the traps lost on a 3-to-5 vote.
Council decided to call for a staff report on a ban policy.
That motion passed on a recorded vote of 7-to-1, with McCaw voting against.