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Fargo Park Board outlaws most animal trapping in city parks

FARGO - It will soon be illegal for the public to use harmful animal traps in Fargo parks.The move to criminalize trapping came after Forum columnist and WDAY talk show host Mike McFeely wrote about a trap that clamped a dog's leg in January in L...

Pat Crary's dog Kato, an Australian Cattle Dog, also known as a Blue Heeler, had her left front paw caught in a leg-hold trap in the Lion’s Conservancy Park in south Fargo, near where Rose Coulee meets the Red River.Dave Wallis / The Forum
Pat Crary's dog Kato, an Australian Cattle Dog, also known as a Blue Heeler, had her left front paw caught in a leg-hold trap in the Lion’s Conservancy Park in south Fargo, near where Rose Coulee meets the Red River. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO - It will soon be illegal for the public to use harmful animal traps in Fargo parks.

The move to criminalize trapping came after Forum columnist and WDAY talk show host Mike McFeely wrote about a trap that clamped a dog's leg in January in Lions Conservancy Park. The dog's owner freed it from the trap, and the animal was not badly hurt.

The episode highlighted the little known fact that trapping is legal in the city and its parks. In response, the Fargo Park Board unanimously voted for a no-trapping ordinance in March.

The board conducted a second reading of the ordinance Tuesday, April 11, and the law will go into effect Thursday, April 27, said Joel Vettel, the Park District's executive director.

Under the ordinance, it will be illegal to use a "body-gripping device" on park land. This includes snares, leg-hold traps, kill traps or any other devices designed to grip an animal.

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The ordinance provides an exception for government staff using body-gripping traps to protect human health and safety, threatened or endangered species, as well as private and public property.

The ordinance does not prohibit the use of live traps by people who have applied to do so and received permission from the Park District. Such live trapping may be permitted occasionally to catch lost pets, the Park District said.

Violating the ordinance will be a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

Mayor Tim Mahoney said the Fargo City Commission will review the Park District's ordinance to see if a similar one is needed to forbid trapping on city land.

Related Topics: FARGO PARK DISTRICT
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