In the latest development in a long controversy, the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to charge residents $200 to have animal regulation officers trap and kill coyotes that venture into residential areas.
The fee is part of a new coyote trapping policy that was created following clashes last year between animal-rights activists and residents who were frustrated with increasing reports of coyote attacks on pets, particularly in the San Fernando Valley.
Animal-rights activists, including Lila Brooks, head of the California Wildlife Defenders, urged city officials to ban trapping, saying the city should instead educate people about ways to coexist with area wildlife. But some residents asked for more trapping to help eliminate coyote problems.
In an effort to accommodate both sides, the city’s Animal Regulations Commission recommended a policy last June to charge residents a fee to have animal regulation officials set traps, but only after property owners meet certain conditions, such as putting up fences to deter coyote attacks.