One Ohio town provides a great example of the negative impact a trapping ban has.
Officials of Miamisburg, Ohio met recently to discuss lifting a trapping ban. The movement comes as complaints roll in about the town’s feral cat population: in response, the city is looking to do a complete overhaul of its current legislation, once again giving the green light for traps and for and trappers to target the cats.
Now, I realize a trapping ban being lifted in a small Ohio town may not seem newsworthy. However, this decision should demonstrate the value of trapping to everyone. Not knowing the history of the town’s trapping laws, I think it’s relatively safe to assume the trapping ban was instated because people viewed traps as immoral and inhumane, were concerned about non-target catches, or a mix of these. I will also assume folks felt pretty good about themselves after the trapping ban was passed. Heck, lots of folks out there today would like to see the end of trapping once and for all. But the truth is, this case shows we need trapping and trappers as much today as ever.
The reason this story is noteworthy is that it highlights the necessity of trapping in the twenty-first century. At some point, the town thought it could do without trapping and somehow control pest species. Possibly, they thought they could just learn to live with them. In fact, that is the approach of one author who published a recent book on coyotes in America.
I’ve heard similar arguments about all sorts of animals out there, from coyotes to mountain lions. Co-habitation sounds like a good idea; that is, until the mountain lion takes up residence next to an elementary school.
This stuff happens, and it happens more when hunting and trapping pressure is lifted. In reality, there need to be checks or controls on the populations of many species we live with. To be clear, a check or control does not equal extinction: a check is a measure to manage a population, not destroy it. Trapping can provide that check. It has proven for centuries to be an effective way of capturing animals, whether for food, fur, or simple removal. It is a necessary activity that not only improves the lives of people, but actually improves the overall quality of life for the animals by decreasing competition for food and reducing population densities, which helps limit the spread of diseases.
Other towns considering a similar trapping ban should take note of the events in Miamisburg. Around the country, there is currently a substantial amount of pressure to end trapping once and for all. However, although some think ending trapping is a good idea, this town’s history shows it is a bad decision.