Elaine Evans, animal lover, asks you to fight again against the city of Aurora after the community “secretly” decided to use “barbaric” beaver traps again.
Evans rang alarm bells for the first time after her friend’s dog, Molly, was nearly trapped in a Conibear trap northeast of Bayview Avenue and St. John’s Sideroad in December.
She was shocked to discover that it was the city that set the traps by hiring licensed trappers.
Conibear traps are condemned by animal rights groups who say they cause slow, excruciating death by drowning trapped animals, but are backed by others who say they are used as a last resort to rid areas of pesky beavers that Cause flood risks.
Evans argued that many jurisdictions employ humane beaver management practices and that conibear traps pose a hazard to children, pets, and other animals. He collected more than 4,500 signatures on a petition at www.change.org/p/end-cruel-beaver-trapping-in -aurora and begs the city to stop using the traps.
The community, which has been using traps for more than 30 years, agreed to suspend their use “due to public outcry” while consulting with other authorities.
According to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA), beavers can seriously affect the operations of rainwater ponds, creating flood hazards and putting communities at risk of litigation if lives and property are lost.
Unfortunately, deterring beavers is not easy and leaving beavers unchecked is not an option, the agency said, adding it supports community efforts to find alternatives to traps.
Aurora will silently resume starting May with traps Evans only discovered through an email from Coun. Harold Kim.
The city acknowledged this is a tough issue for the public and said it needs to focus on public health, safety and costly damage to infrastructure. The addition of the traps is only used when other methods fail.
Not only is Evans upset that Aurora is using the traps again, but she’s also outraged that the city hasn’t told residents of their plans.
She also asks if the city is using flood risk as a ploy to approve a six-story condominium building with underground parking near Bayview and St. John’s, believing it would be impossible for a beaver dam to remove existing higher-elevation homes to flood the ground.
In an email to the Aurora banner, the city announced that beaver dams have led to flooded parklands and paths and disrupted the flow of water through the city’s storm system.
Beavers have also left trees in “extremely dangerous conditions” near homes and in the Aurora Community Arboretum.
The city said it has a mitigation program that includes not planting trees preferred by beavers.
The city used traps as a “ultimate solution” when other methods fail, pointing out that the Department of Natural Resources does not support the relocation of beavers because they are territorial.
However, Evans argues that the department benefits financially in selling trap licenses to trappers.
The city did not respond to other questions, including the location of three active beaver sites and how a beaver dam in a low-lying area could create a flood risk for higher-lying properties.
In an email to the banner, Kim said dealing with beavers was a “difficult situation”. As always, life is a priority. And we have to look under every stone to make sure all options have been considered. The city follows the LSRCA and MNR guidelines as all municipalities must follow them. “
It is time for Aurora to come to the communities with humane beaver management methods, Evans said.
“It is possible to live with our animal world. Cruel trapping isn’t the only way to deal with this pesky creature, ”she said.
“People feel sick, and so do I.”
She encouraged residents to email [email protected] or call 905-727-3123.
Newmarket is not using the traps as it is considering alternative methods for beaver management, an email said.
Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh is considering introducing a statute banning the use of the traps in Newmarket.
Reporter Lisa Queen, who addressed this issue in January after seeing a response to Elaine Evans’ Facebook post, continues the story after Evans contacted her with her latest concern.