NORTH ROYALTON – The city ordinance outlawing hunting has been amended to include trapping as well, though there are some exceptions to the rule.
The amendment, introduced by Mayor Bob Stefanik and co-sponsored by Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, was discussed in council’s safety meeting Sept. 19.
Langshaw said there was an issue in his ward where someone was using traps to catch animals by the leg. He views hunting and trapping as one and the same and believed the ordinance needed updated.
“It clarifies that this is hunting,” Langshaw said.
Stefanik said after the meeting the reason the city looked into this was because a resident was setting snare traps and mini bear traps very near the street in a residential area.
“Do we really want someone setting snare traps between their home and street in a residential area? I don’t think so. It’s unfortunate we have to legislate common sense sometimes, but in this instance, safety is also a major factor,” the mayor said.
The amendment essentially adds a few words shown in bold below to Part 6 General Offenses Code, Chapter 618 Animals, Section 618.12 Hunting Prohibited and now reads as follows:
“The hunting or trapping of animals or fowl within the municipality is prohibited. No person shall hunt, trap, kill or attempt to kill any animal or fowl by the use of firearms or any other means, except as follows: Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the killing or trapping of rats and other undesirable rodents or animals authorized to be killed by the Chief of Police using means for such killing or trapping which are also authorized by the Chief or his designee.”
There has been some confusion that certain instances are no longer permissible. Officials said they want to be clear that residents can still set traps for mice and other rodents at their homes as stated in the above legislation. But for those who have a nuisance animal of a bigger variety such as a raccoon, for example, animal control is the proper channel for removal or an animal or pest removal service.
“Residents can contact our animal control officer on what steps to take and advice for a resolution,” Safety Director Bruce Campbell said after the meeting.
Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris asked if catching a neighbor’s loose pet and returning it safely would technically be in violation of the trapping law.
“As a practical matter, I don’t think any of the chief’s soldiers would cite you for that,” Law Director Tom Kelly answered.
Catching or trapping a neighbor’s pet cat or dog that a resident perceives as a nuisance and doing it harm, however, is criminal and falls under “Goddard’s Law,” a pet cruelty law, Ward 1 Councilman John Nickell pointed out during the meeting.
“They’ve raised some of it to a felony level,” Kelly said.
Hunting is only permissible in North Royalton for deer by bow and proper permits, licensing and fees are required first.