Wednesday, March 08, 2006

From Hell Comes Good: Town of Southampton, New York Bans Body-Gripping Traps: the Consequence of the Death of a Dog in a Trap

Right on. It’s about time. I wrote about this just this situation just this week at http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/
trapping-outdated-and-incompatible.html

Good for them and good to see something came from the horrible death the dog Zephyr suffered.

Article:

Town Bans Body-Gripping Traps

http://www.indyeastend.com/cgi-bin/
indep/news.cgi?action=article&category
=News&id=9215

By Carey London

The cruel irony in tragedy is the effective change it can sometimes inspire. That was the message the Southampton Town Board delivered last week to its concerned constituents after it swiftly and unanimously passed a law banning body-gripping traps on town-owned land.
At a public hearing on February 28, the town board room was filled with animal activists, including members of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, Rocky’s Fund Rescue Welcome Home Sanctuary, the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, and Group For the South Fork.
Following public comments, the town board closed the hearing and passed the legislation, dubbed “Zephyr’s Law” which prohibits the placing of body gripping traps on town beaches and parks, trails, preserves, sanctuaries, and CPF purchased lands.
The law was introduced after a 75-pound pit bull mix named “Zephyr” was caught and killed by a large body-gripping trap that was legally placed in the Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Preserve last December.
His owner Gail Murphy was walking the three-year old dog when he veered off the path and stuck his head in a bucket containing the Conibear trap baited with rotting fish, located about 50 feet off the trail.
Murphy was unable to pry Zephyr loose and brought him to ARF for help, but it was too late. Zephyr had died within minutes of the trap snapping shut on his neck. It took two people to undo the contraption.
ARF rescued Zephyr from the Bahamas after Hurricane Francis hit in 2004.
Mindy Washington, of Rocky’s Fund, explained that the Conibear “is designed to tighten with every exhalation or movement of the animal. It took a full two minutes to deprive Zephyr of his life.”
Several speakers remarked that the town should ban all traps on town-owned land.
But town attorney Garrett Swenson said he advised the board to refine its law to only body-gripping traps to ensure a speedy passage without objection from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates trapping and hunting in the state. State involvement could result in delayed or no passage of legislation on any trapping, he warned.
The DEC sued Suffolk County several years ago for trying to pass a countywide ban on all traps.
Town Supervisor Patrick Heaney apologized to Murphy for the incident occurring on town property, but the bereaved owner was clearly relieved over the town’s expeditious response.
“On December 11, no one heard my cry,” said Murphy. “Today, I am grateful that all of you heard my cry and are willing to help.”

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