Fur trapper on P.E.I. fined for using antiquated traps

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 21, 2016

PROVINCIAL COURT

Francis Joseph Howlett of Selkirk must pay $400 following Georgetown court case

GEORGETOWN – An Island trapper who has been catching fur-bearing animals for 68 years found himself in provincial court for using antiquated traps.

Francis Joseph Howlett of Selkirk was fined $400 in Georgetown court after being charged last November with contravening the provincial Wildlife Conservation Act. Officers said he was using improper traps in the area.

“The water wasn’t as high last fall….that’s the problem,’’ said Howlett, who defended himself and didn’t quite understand why he was even charged.

The nearly 80-year-old man pleaded guilty to the charge that officers found two leg-hold traps lacking a modern device that ensures the animal drowns quickly. The traps to catch muskrats were set in road culverts, and Howlett insisted lower water levels prevented the animals from being killed quickly.

Chief judge Nancy Orr issued the fine after being advised that Howlett had been warned a few years ago about his ancient traps and that they did not comply with current regulations.