An impressive device placed along a path. Marie-Françoise and her eldest son discovered a cat trapped in a wolf trap. The animal had to be euthanized. The couple is concerned about the dangers of such a practice. Is it legal?
A wolf trap installed on RAVel in Élouges. This is the discovery made by Marie-Françoise and her husband Guy last February. As Guy cuts wood near his garden, he is dressed by the meowing of a cat. On the spot, he spots a cat trapped in an animal trap. What a wandering chat was caught by this awesome device. Both legs were broken, he had to be euthanized.
“If it was a child who had set foot in it, I don’t know what would have happened. The trap is 18 meters from my house. I have grandchildren coming and playing on the embankment. It could have happened to them. “Marie-Françoise recounts.
This is the first time this grandmother has faced a wolf trap. Concretely, the latter is composed of a metal trigger and wide curved jaws. These are actuated by powerful springs that are supposed to restrain the animal.
After the discovery, the couple contacted the animal welfare association, “Nos amis les bêtes”. According to its president, such events occur frequently. “If we are warned, we try to remove the equipment and see who is having fun poaching.”rapporteur Marcel de Raijmaeker who calls on the people of the river to be careful. “We shouldn’t install such systems. It’s illegal, we are no longer in the time of poaching.”he exclaims.
On Facebook, the president posted a message to the riverrains destination. “The police have been warned (…) There are no wolves or ferocious animals in this area.” he wrote. Many have been offended by such a practice. “Where can we walk feeling protected?”Rose asks. “What a shame! We walk our dogs, we let the kids have fun and run. It’s criminal and totally forbidden.”adds a web surfer.
In fact, the law formally prohibits the installation of these devices. As stated in a decree amending the law of 28 February 1882 on hunting in the Walloon region, the use of jaw traps is prohibited. “The possession, sale and sale of jaw traps is prohibited.” mentioned this decree.
A penalty of € 100 to € 1,000
Jean-François Duliere, head of the cantonment at the DNF (Département Nature et Forêts) in Mons, explains the reason for the ban. „Cis a means of capture that makes the animal suffer and is not selective “, he explains. Holders and users of these traps may be verbalized. “The minutes are sent to the prosecutor’s office and the magistrate may, if necessary, impose a sentence ranging from 100 to 1,000 euros.”stresses Jean-François Pain.
Despite the ban, this type of trap is sold at flea markets or on the black market. On the internet, many ads suggest the purchase of this type of trap also exist. “Traps like this are still circulating under the table. It’s not common but it happens.” specifies the head of cantonment at the DNF.
Since 2016, the wolf has returned to Wallonia. Later, the Walloon Public Service set up the Wolf Network. Studies have shown that these mammals were present in the Hautes Fagnes. His presence near Dour, in the province of Hainaut, is excluded. Police have opened an investigation to try to identify the person who installed the one discovered in Élouges.