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Pioneer Editorial: New trap rules should be adopted

The Minnesota Legislature should adopt new regulations governing the use of body-gripping traps that are designed to kill raccoons, beavers, bobcats and other species. Under current regulations, a number of dogs have been killed in the past year by such traps. The heartbreaking stories that have been shared on television news broadcasts have brought the issue to light.

The new regulations would require traps that are set on public or private lands to either be completely submerged under water or set at least five feet above ground.

Department of Natural Resources fish and wildlife director Ed Boggess says there may be other ways to protect dogs.

"Other states that have approached this issue have also included options that are on the ground, but they restrict the size of the opening, require the trap to be recessed back into a box where a dog can't get its head back into the trap," Boggess said. "We're going to work with legislators and others to come up with a reasonable approach."

The Minnesota Trappers Association opposes any regulations that would restrict the use of body-gripping traps, stating those new rules would make the traps ineffective for most species.

But we believe these minor changes could still get the job done while sparing pet owners the horror of losing their animals to a cruel death.