$20,000 allocated for education and snare trapping
By Terry Miller
Despite city of the Arcadia staff recommendation to continue education regarding the coyotes, council listened to the continued community outcry over the “intense population” increase of local coyotes and voted to use snare traps, which City Manager Dominic Lazaretto admitted was not exactly the most humane way to deal with the issue.
Peter Amundson agreed with the city manager and said he’d prefer trapping over the use of snare traps.
On Feb. 9, PETA sent an urgent letter on behalf of its hundreds of members and supporters in Arcadia to the city’s mayor and city council asking them to call off plans to trap and kill coyotes living in the area.
The council’s decision was made at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, “even though the posted meeting agenda item gave no indication that a vote on lethal measures might take place,” according to PETA.
In its letter, PETA points out that coyotes suffer when caught in cage traps or painful snares, that companion animals and untargeted wildlife could be harmed by the traps, and that more coyotes will simply move in to take the place of animals who have been killed, as long as the neighborhood and its food supply remain attractive to them—resulting in a costly and pointless killing cycle.
“Killing coyotes isn’t just inhumane and indefensible—it’s also ineffective,” said PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “The only proven long-term solution is educating the public about deterring coyotes through habitat modification and repellents as well as strictly prohibiting feeding wildlife.”
PETA’s letter to Arcadia Mayor Tom Beck and the Arcadia City Council is as follows:
“PETA’s headquarters has been informed that the Arcadia City Council has voted to hire a contractor to trap and kill coyotes. On behalf of our hundreds of members and supporters in Arcadia, we urge you to halt any plans to kill coyotes immediately. Ultimately, trapping and killing initiatives are ineffective at controlling coyote populations, as surviving pack members simply breed in order to replace lost family members while more coyotes move in from outlying areas for the available resources. Furthermore, trapping of any kind (including cage trapping) is extraordinarily stressful for any wild species, and snare traps are particularly inhumane, since ensnared animals often sustain horrific injuries in their frantic attempts to escape, even chewing or twisting off their own limbs. Killing or otherwise removing animals also tears wild families apart, leaving orphaned young to starve. And such devices are notoriously indiscriminate, posing definite risks to companion animals and “nontarget” wildlife, including protected species.
“Making areas unappealing via deterrents and curtailing food sources will encourage coyotes to move on naturally. Ammonia-soaked rags placed in dens will successfully “evict” coyotes, as they loathe the smell. Residents should be advised that trimming vegetation away from buildings, trails, and fence lines will eliminate or at least reduce the number of hiding places for coyotes as well as their prey. Sonic deterrents such as YardGard™, motion-activated sprinklers, flashing lights, and outdoor radios (all available at garden stores) also work effectively to deter coyotes and their prey. The Bird-X Transonic Mole will further deter burrowing animals who are a food source for coyotes, and the presence of rodents can be mitigated by keeping dumpsters locked, trash and compost securely contained, and grass cut shorter as well as by feeding animal companions indoors. Finally, a prohibition on feeding wildlife should be strictly enforced.
This integrative approach is the only effective means of coyote control, and its nonlethal nature makes it acceptable to the public. We hope to hear soon that Arcadia will abandon this killing initiative.”
Kristin Rickman, Cruelty Casework Associate Manager, Cruelty Investigations Department