Killing Canada's Wolves with Neck Snares

The EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy
February 3, 2019

Ban Snares across Canada

Provincial governments in Canada have not meaningfully updated the provincial trapping regulations since the 1930s, resulting in tens of thousands of wolves and other canids being trapped, killed and skinned each year across the country in inhumane and inefficient neck snares for the fashion industry.

Perhaps surprisingly, what these trappers are doing on their traplines is totally legal and happens all across Canada wherever wolves, coyotes and red foxes are found. In Alberta, for example, a $40 trapping license allows trappers to kill as many wolves as they can from October to March. There are no limits; trappers can kill as many wolves, coyotes and foxes as they can snare.

So why do trappers use snares? Because they’re cheap, lightweight, easy to use, and they can catch lots of different kinds of fur-bearing animals.

The problem from our perspective is that the science shows that neck snares are incredibly inhumane and rarely kill quickly. Neck snares have never been scientifically proven to kill animals humanely in less than 5 minutes, which is the standard outlined under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards that Canada signed in 1997 and ratified in 1999. Incredibly, neck snares aren’t actually part of that agreement, because all relevant Canadian agencies decided that snares were not commercial killing devices because they can also be made at home.

This excluded them from the agreement despite the fact that snares can be be purchased commercially at many outdoor retailers throughout the country and almost all trappers sell their furs commercially.

Snares work on the premise that the wire tightens around the wolf’s neck as it struggles, compressing the carotid arteries and reducing blood flow to the brain. However, it’s extremely difficult to choke a wolf to death because of their incredibly strong neck muscles, regardless of whether a manual killing snare or a power killing snare is used.

The science actually shows that snares aren’t even time-effective in killing the much smaller red fox, let alone wolves or coyotes. Plus, many wolves get caught by the leg or foot and have to wait days or even weeks in agony with a wire embedded in their flesh before the trapper returns to kill them, just as Craig’s wolf tragically had to in this episode.

Thousands of wolves are killed in neck snares in Canada each year. In Alberta alone, in 2018, trappers reported killing almost 700 wolves and a staggering 46,120 coyotes. Many of these coyotes are what line the hoods of Canada Goose jackets.

Please help us give our wolves a voice and take action by writing to government officials in the easy-to-use form letter link we've provided to ask for an immediate ban on killing neck snares in Canadian provinces.

This form email/letter will automatically be sent to your Ministers and local MLA (based on your postal code) to help force them to re-classify neck snares as commercial killing devices. Note that even if you do not live in Canada, but do spend your tourist dollars hoping to see wolves in our provinces, your input will still be valuable (please still consider sending a letter via the Action Alert form).

We need to put an immediate end to how neck snares are choking our wolves and other wildlife to death in this country. It is not acceptable in today's day and age to be killing wild animals inhumanely for any reason.

Please feel free to ‘Copy and Paste’ sections of this text into your form letter, emails, letters, posts and tweets and help us spread the word on social media. Please also consider donating to help us in our fight for wolves and other fur-bearing animals.

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More Information

For more information about killing neck snares visit our project page to see related videos, links, and books.

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Please keep your language civil, many of these politicians may not be aware that this is an issue.


Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta    

ason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, Alberta

British Columbia

John Horgan, Premier of B.C

George Heyman, Minister of Environment, BC

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, BC


Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan

Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment, Sask


Brad Pallister, Premier of Manitoba

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Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development

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John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

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Francois Legault, Premier of Quebec

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