Friday, August 25, 2017
To the Editor:
My name is Art Buckman. I filed the petition to allow the trapping of aggressive coyotes in Westport. Since filing the petition, I have heard from residents about many dangerous encounters with coyotes.
These encounters range from stalking to aggressive behavior toward people to attacks on pets and sadly, the killing of pets.
One item I find disturbing is the misinformation out in the public. Information is “put out there” as fact or the norm, when it is the exception or a rare occurrence.
An example of this, is the use of foot hold traps. The traps used in Connecticut meet international standards for humaneness. They are designed to catch and hold an animal, not injure it.
Yes, on occasion an animal is injured, but this is a rare occurrence; not the norm as some would like us to believe.
Foot hold traps are used by federal and state agencies that manage wildlife across the country. They are used to capture animals to study, treat and relocate.
In the 1980s, 24 states had either no river otters or very few. Since then, more than 4,300 otters have been relocated and reintroduced in 22 states. Most of these otters were captured by foot hold traps so that they could be transported and released to repopulate the species.
Why would these agencies that are working to help the otter population use something that is harmful and could injure the animal? The answer is they wouldn’t. Foot hold traps are safe and humane.
I understand this is an emotional topic with strong opinions on both sides. Let’s be honest with one another, there is no perfect solution to this problem.
I hope we can have an open, respectful and truthful dialogue about the issues at the Sept. 5 RTM meeting.
Posted 08/25/17 at 08:05 PM Permalink