Town of Strathmore council adopted an amended policy regarding animal trapping, neuter and spaying practices during the Feb. 7, regular meeting. 

The Animal Trapping, Neuter and Spay policy aims to maintain a humane, effective, and financially sustainable strategy for controlling domestic cats and non-domestic animals such as skunks within Strathmore. 

This policy ensures animals are humanely trapped and released if applicable, while prioritizing the animals’ health and welfare, while addressing public concerns surrounding feral and domestic animals at large. 

The town’s animal trapping, neuter and spay policy was approved by council in 2019. The policy was brought up for review and amendment as it was identified as being no longer in alignment with current municipal practices. 

Some of the changes to the policy include a revised policy statement, updated definitions, updates to responsibilities for municipal enforcement staff, revisions to services provided, and updates to the disposal of animals. 

“The rationale for this change is to provide some updated clarity on the policy, really that we trap two types of animals – skunks, non-domestic, and cats,” said Mark Pretzlaff, director of community and protective services with the Town of Strathmore. “The biggest changes to the policy … we just provided some grammatical changes for section 3.2 of the new policy. In terms of 3.3, this is a new section and provides specific dates and makes sure certain animals are trapped during a specific time … to ensure that if there is bad weather, that an animal is not left in a trap.”

Pretzlaff continued that many of the changes and updates to the policy are largely clerical for legal purposes and maintain much of the previous procedures for dealing with animals at large in the town. 

Town administration is also specified to not be required to handle or deal with trapped animals, as that is a defined responsibility of peace officers.

Coun. Debbie Mitzner, addressing concerns noted by residents, inquired about how raccoons would be dealt with under the policy. 

Pretzlaff clarified raccoons fall under the jurisdiction of Alberta Fish and Wildlife, and are not addressable via town resources or the policy. This being due to requiring additional and specific resources to safely trap and relocate the animals, which the town does not currently have. 

Following amendments proposed by Coun. Melissa Langmaid, council voted unanimously to pass the new policy. 

More information about the town’s animal trapping, neuter and spaying practices is available via the town website, as well as through the Feb. 7 regular meeting minutes and agenda package.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 15, 2024 at 05:05

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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