Who Killed Grace? Part 1, The Time of Constant Sorrow
Who Killed Grace? Part 2, The Royal Privilege
Who Killed Grace? Part 3, Harvest of Blood
(Courtesy of Les Editions Main Street)
The November 2005 issue of Main Street includes Randall Prue's article: Trapped in Apathy
“For two years, Main Street was my only ear, voice, and support.” says local resident Alana following the death, in November 2002, of her dog Grace, caught in the killing jaws of a Conibear trap. You may remember four outstanding articles by the late Neil Zach, or that Main Street staff signed, distributed, promoted, and attended the presentation of a petition (started by Charity Clark of Montfort) to our elected representative, Mr. David Whissell, for forwarding to the Minister of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Parks.
The response to this petition has been deafening silence, echoing the total lack of positive action and response from all municipal and provincial agencies. A year after she requested it, Alana received a copy of the police report, which revealed that the trap (a significant piece of evidence) had been destroyed within only two weeks of Grace's death. Instead of accountability, all evidence points to a cover-up.
Grace’s death will not be in vain if her Web site (http://graceslegacy.com) leads to evolution in trapping laws. Within the past year, through the Web site, news of other tragedies has arrived from many places. Most notably, and only as a result of insistence by outraged citizens in Nova Scotia, minor changes to the Wildlife Act now require that the public be informed of the onset of trapping season, and that traps be tagged to identify their owners. Details of this private member’s bill amending the wildlife act are on Grace’s Web site.
Bear in mind that this bill only applies in Nova Scotia, and fails to address several serious problems. Informing the public of trapping season does not inform them of the presence and location of traps. Is trapping a secret society? When we read about the Nova Scotia trapper who works for the Department of Natural Resources, and knows how to push the laws to their limits and intimidate opponents, we might get the impression that the inmates are running the prison.
Remember that traps can legally be set along public roadways and on private property, including yours (without your permission), and that you may not remove a trap from your property!
Some trappers do recognize the consequences of continued irresponsible trapping. On the Web site of the Trappers Association of Nova Scotia (http://www.trappersassociationofnovascotia.ca/) are many pages of common sense for a smart, proactive trapper, including detailed instructions for preventing “unwanted animals” in traps, with a reminder that the future of fur harvesting depends on responsible trapping.
Maybe life is worth more in Nova Scotia than it is here. To an observer, it seems that way. Is the apathy in Quebec greater than in other places? In Port Coquitlam, BC, when the town’s beaver traps killed a dog, the remaining traps were removed immediately and signs were posted that warned of trapping in the area. Compare that to Quebec’s response: where Grace died, on a public path, there is now a sign that forbids dogs, not trapping.
Randall Prue has written on a broad range of environmental, health, and social issues, and is widely published in books, magazines, newspapers, and Web sites. Recently, Randall managed, edited, and published the Quebec Farmers’ Advocate.
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