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City Council Assailed for Allowing Trapping of Coyotes

An animal rights activist Thursday blasted a Los Angeles City Council vote allowing residents to trap coyotes.

“This is a dangerous decision,” said Southern California Humane Society Executive Director Madeline Bernstein. “It ignores general public safety.”

Bernstein said the measure would wrongly encourage amateurs to trap and handle wild coyotes. She said it gives a “false sense of security to a growing concern of wildlife coming into rural areas,” at the same time creating a liability problem for homeowners.

The council approved the measure in reaction to an attack in Griffith Park two weeks ago, voting 12-0 to allow residents to resume trapping the animals.

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The city also intends to hire five animal control officers who will pick up trapped coyotes and take them to animal shelters. There, the animals will be destroyed at a cost of $2,500 each.

The trapping ordinance will go into effect 30 days after Mayor Richard Riordan signs it. A Riordan aide said the mayor endorses the measure.

Lila Brooks of the California Wildlife Defenders said the council was overreacting to the Griffith Park incident in which a 15-month-old girl suffered several coyote bites and bruises.


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