A proposal that would outlaw animal traps in the city was referred today Los Angeles' Animal Services Commission, which is expected to consider the issue next month.
The City Council had been scheduled to consider instructing the city attorney to write an ordinance barring "the use of animal traps or snares that maim, kill or cause inhumane suffering," but the issue was instead referred to the commission, which overseas the Animal Services Department.
Trapped animals sometimes chew off their legs when struggling to break free, and snares could crush animals' vital organs or strangle them, according to a motion introduced earlier this year by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell.
Such traps are already illegal for the public to use in Los Angeles. Only employees of pest control companies with city permits are allowed to trap animals considered a nuisance or dangerous.
Once the Animal Services Commission hears a report from officials of the Animal Services Department, the council's Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee will again take up O'Farrell's proposal before it is sent back to the full City Council.
O'Farrell, who last month asked that the ban be "fast-tracked," said the traps can also ensnare all manner of unintended critters, including rabbits, deer, birds, cats and dogs.
Once caught in traps or snares, animals might be killed by other animals or suffer from dehydration, blood loss, hypothermia or drowning, according to The Humane Society, which O'Farrell's motion references.
Meanwhile, trapped coyotes, foxes and wolves face "slow and painful" deaths because they have strong neck muscles that allow them to "prolong their struggle," according to the Humane Society.
The Humane Society "advises that trapping should not be considered a wildlife strategy, in that trapping does not ensure a stable wildlife population, control disease or control nuisance wildlife," according to the motion.
State law requires that any wildlife that is trapped must be released on site or euthanized, and that the traps must be monitored daily.