After raccoon found in electrified trap, B.C. SPCA issues reminder about illegal pest-control attempts

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      While authorities are attempting to catch a koi-hungry otter that has invaded a Chinatown pond, the B.C. SPCA has issued a reminder about homeowner attempts to capture wildlife using illegal and inhumane methods.

      An Arbutus Ridge resident contacted the B.C. SPCA on November 15 to report a raccoon, that had been heard crying throughout the night, had been caught in a homemade trap on a neighbouring property.

      The trap had been modified, with an extension cord attached to it, to have an electric current running through the metal.

      The caller had unplugged the cord, freed the raccoon, and then contacted the B.C. SPCA.

      The B.C. SPCA released this photo of an electrified raccoon trap.
      B.C. SPCA

      In a news release, the B.C. SPCA reminded citizens that trapping raccoons is legal with restrictions, but it is illegal to electrocute raccoons.

      In addition, the SPCA pointed out that the trap could have captured cats or other animals, and the electrical modifications could have harmed a child or other person.

      Consequently, the B.C. SPCA is reminding citizens to take other measures, such as:

      • removing anything that could attract raccoons (such as food, garbage, pet food, bird seed, or wild fruit);
      • keeping pets indoors during night and early morning hours (from dusk to dawn);
      • preventing any means of access to crawl spaces, attics, garages, or sheds.

      If a raccoon has created a den, the B.C. SPCA recommends mild harassment techniques, such as:

      • placing a flashlight or work light that shines upon the den;
      • playing a radio (tuned in to a talk-radio station) near the den;
      • place rags soaked with apple cider vinegar in plastic container punched with holes that will permit the odour to permeate and place near the den.

      If a raccoon has entered a shed or home, the SPCA recommends contacting a pest-control company that uses exclusion techniques, or methods which permit the raccoon to leave but not re-enter, rather than trapping, relocation, or killing.

      Trapping may cause injury, suffering, or death (when trying to escape) while relocation may make animals struggle to find new food sources, come into conflict with other animals over territory, expend themselves attempting to return home, or may separate a mother from her babies.

      For more information, visit the B.C. SPCA website. The B.C. SPCA's animal cruelty hotline is 1-855-622-7722.

      Katy Thompson/B.C. SPCA
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