Alberta Research Council (near Edmonton, Alberta)
I have been a part of the Humane Trapping Program at the Alberta Research Council (ARC) since 1994 and have been the program leader since 2000. As a trap researcher, my job is to evaluate the quality and humaneness of traps against international humane trapping standards, and to develop new technologies for testing traps.
Canada is definitely a world leader when it comes to trapping research, which we’ve been doing in Alberta since 1985. It is my responsibility to make sure the procedures meet a high scientific standard and the data is used effectively and to its full potential.
Every country in the world traps animals for some reason or purpose and there will always be situations were trapping will be required, so we want to ensure the traps that are used are the most humane available.
We test the traps using scientifically valid approaches in accordance with the Canadian Council on Animal Care. When traps need to be tested on animals, strict wild animal procurement, husbandry and health care guidelines are followed. Animals are tested in an outdoor landscaped enclosure that simulates an actual trapline condition and interactions between the animals and the researchers are kept to a minimum. In many cases, we no longer have to test traps on live animals because of the new techniques we have developed at ARC. For example, we now use computer simulation models for a number of species, which is a much cheaper and scientifically valid approach to evaluating trapping devices.
I have a real passion for wildlife and have come to a better understanding of the trapping industry and all of the different aspects of it and I want to ensure that the industry has the best tools for the job.