Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell on Friday proposed banning animal snare traps in the city, saying the wire nooses used to trap coyotes are "inhumane."
O'Farrell said his office was alerted to a coyote killed in a snare trap in Silver Lake two weeks ago. His staff found that while it's illegal to injure or cripple an animal in a trap, snare devices are not specifically outlawed.
O'Farrell said he hopes to change that. When an animal walks into a snare trap, a wire tightens around its neck, slowly suffocating it. If a limb becomes ensnared, the trapper can be faced with a panicked, wild animal fighting for its life.
"It's just profoundly inhumane and I just won't stand for it,'' he said.
Coyotes abound in Southern California's hilly neighborhoods and are often driven there in search of food and water, wildlife experts say. They sometimes attack house cats and small dogs.
The best way to avoid them is to keep trash, pet food and water out of reach, the experts say.
The Department and Animal Services will work with the city attorney's office to present a report on the possibility of an ordinance outlawing snare traps. Public hearings on the proposal will be held by the council's Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee.
After those hearings, it could return to the full council for a vote.