Torrance Faces Heavy Scrutiny Over Coyote-Trapping Plan

Citing Lack of Transparency and Drop in Coyote Sightings, PETA Demands Cancelation of Trapping Season

For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Torrance, Calif. – PETA has sent an urgent letter to Torrance’s city manager, police chief, and city council members requesting that they cancel plans to trap and kill coyotes as early as this fall, pointing out that the city has unreasonably delayed responding fully to months’ worth of requests for public records, in violation of the California Public Records Act. PETA—which has more than 2,800 members in Torrance and more than 170,000 members throughout Los Angeles County—notes that recent figures indicate a marked drop in coyote sightings, meaning that the nonlethal population-control methods currently being used are working.

“Torrance has unlawfully hindered the public from reviewing documentation of its rash coyote-killing plan, which would surely prove to be ineffective,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on the city not only to be transparent about its intentions to slaughter coyotes indiscriminately but also to abandon the plan altogether in favor of humane deterrent methods that are already proving successful.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Torrance officials follows.

May 13, 2019

LeRoy J. Jackson, Torrance City Manager

Eve R. Irvine, Torrance Police Chief

Members of the Torrance City Council

Re: Torrance’s Coyote-Trapping Season

Dear Mr. Jackson, Chief Irvine, and Members of the City Council,

Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We’re writing today on behalf of our more than 2,800 members and supporters in Torrance about the amendment to the 2016 Coyote Management Plan that would allow a five-month trapping period each year (from October through February).

Since December, PETA has been attempting to gather information and monitor the city’s implementation of its Coyote Management Plan amendments by submitting regular requests for public records to the city clerk and the police department. To date, we have more than eight outstanding requests dating back to December 14, 2018, and we’ve been told by the city clerk’s office that it will be “a few months” until the city would even begin to provide us with e-mails that are responsive to our requests. We were also told that Torrance will not fully respond to all of our outstanding requests until November 2019—almost a full year after our first request was submitted. Because Torrance’s unreasonable delay violates the California Public Records Act, we have sent a letter to the city clerk requesting the immediate release of all pertinent public records collected thus far and the release of the remaining records on a rolling basis, to be completed in a reasonably timely manner.

Transparency at this stage is critical, especially in light of a bid from Critter Busters Inc. (a wildlife- and “pest”-control company) in March for trapping and killing coyotes which was seemingly submitted at the request of the city. Calls from a vocal minority to kill these animals peaked last November. However, figures gathered by Torrance police in 2018 and 2019 show a marked decrease in coyote sightings since then. In light of this trend as well as the city’s failure to provide all the requested information in a timely manner as required by law, we respectfully ask that the council suspend the anticipated 2019–2020 coyote-trapping season.

Clearly, the long-term, nonlethal methods of coyote population control currently being implemented are working. We urge you to continue using these methods and to increase community outreach and education to support residents in coexisting with coyotes and other wildlife. Please, cancel the deadly and indiscriminate killing of coyotes, originally slated to begin as early as this October.

Sincerely,

Lisa Lange

Senior Vice President

PETA

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