Cruelty Charges Called for Against Trapper Hired to Kill Nags Head Coyotes

PETA Seeks Additional Action After Documents Reveal Trapper Left Live Raccoons to Languish in Traps for Days

For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Nags Head, N.C.

PETA sent a letter today calling on Dare County law-enforcement officials to file all appropriate cruelty charges against the trapper who allegedly left as many as five raccoons—two of whom were evidently found dead—to languish in traps for as long as 11 days in his backyard in November 2017. The group cites damning documents and photographs from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Kill Devil Hills Police Department.

The trapper was charged with four violations of wildlife laws—but no counts of cruelty, even though the incidents apparently violate North Carolina’s cruelty-to-animals statute—and was still contracted by Nags Head officials to trap as many 17 coyotes between December 2017 and February 2018. The charges were later dismissed on the condition that the trapper performed community service and had his depredation permit revoked.

“The same trapper hired to capture coyotes and rip wild families apart in Nags Head apparently left raccoons to languish in terror in traps for over a week,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for law-enforcement officials to open a cruelty investigation and Nags Head officials to reexamine their relationship with this trapper.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—previously called on Nags Head officials to nix the coyote-trapping initiative, noting that coyotes suffer when caught in painful traps, which can also indiscriminately harm companion animals and “nontarget” wildlife, including protected species. Because coyote litter sizes increase when their populations are pressured, integrative and nonlethal approaches are the only effective means of coyote control. These methods include informing the public about deterring the animals through habitat modification and repellents as well as prohibiting residents from feeding wildlife. Residents should also be urged to feed their animal companions only indoors and to supervise them when outside.

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