TWIN FALLS — Twin Falls residents now are banned from setting traps that are designed to injure or kill an animal.
The city council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance on the trap ban after city officials learned of incidents where residents have used similar traps to harm or dispose of feral cats, the Times-News reported.
Residents will no longer be allowed to set a leg-hold trap, a conibear (body trap) or a snare trap — except with the required licensing and permitting from Idaho Fish and Game, the ordinance says.
“While the traps may have their uses with Fish and Game for furbearers, they’re really bad on domestic animals,” Code Enforcement Coordinator Sean Standley told the city council.
Standley called the traps “very inhumane.”
Violators of the new code will face an infraction and a $100 fine, plus $56.50 in court costs. Breaking the code will become a misdemeanor if the city notices a pattern of abuse, Standley said.
A couple of weeks ago, Standley said he discovered that someone had placed a trap outside a fence in an alleyway. Standley, concerned that someone stepping in it, disabled the trap and returned it to the owner.
He told the Times-News he’s noticed several conibear traps in alleys, and it is a public safety concern.
“If a kid steps in those, they could break a leg,” he said.
And oftentimes, traps don’t kill the animals but injure them beyond help, People for Pets Adoption Specialist Chantell Riley told the Times-News. The organization has had a few animals come in like that, and Riley recalled a cat being caught in a bear trap about three months ago.
“It literally flattened the cat and it was still alive,” Riley said.
The ordinance does not apply to any traps for which a resident is authorized to have by the state. Idaho Fish and Game requires a trapping license and has different seasons for fur-bearing animals such as muskrats, beavers, otters, bobcats, minks, martens, fishers and red fox. The state also issues permits to trap these or predatory animals out of season.