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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: Ban traps, all of them

‘Where is the awareness? Where is the compassion?’

April 26, 2019
By ANNOEL KRIDER , Lake Placid News

It only took one experience with a friend's dog getting caught in a steel jaw trap that motivated me into the quest to ban traps. All of them!

Not only snares, Conibear traps and steel jaw traps but the poison d-Con and sticky glue traps. D-con not only kills mice but those who eat the mice including cats, dogs, eagles, owls etc. And the sticky glue traps? A hideously cruel fate for the mouse who will die a slow and agonizing death.

All of these traps are archaic and inhuman and inherently cruel, causing pain and suffering to the animal unlucky enough to get caught in one. Traps don't discriminate. According to a study done by Canada, 43% of the animals caught in the Conibear traps were not the specific target.

Recently I read about the new fad to use coyote fur for collars on winter coats. No matter what your feelings are about coyotes, they are a part of the ecosystem, and besides, in order to get the fur for these coats, the coyotes need to be trapped first.

There are 10 million fur-bearing animals that are trapped every year. Steel-jaw traps are the most widely used and one that is condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association because of its innate cruelty. When an animal steps into this trap, it snaps down and cuts into the flesh, often to the bone. The animal is in excruciating pain and will continue to struggle to release itself until it is exhausted and dying from loss of blood, shock, frostbite or starvation. The animal will sometimes choose to chew off its snared limb in order to escape. It is often the case that the human who set the traps don't revisit them frequently enough, leaving the trapped animal to die a slow and painful death.

I've had firsthand experience releasing someone's dog from a trap that was set frighteningly close to a public trail. I know of one other incident of a dog, walking with his family, along a local trail that was snared by a Conibear trap. I was able to release my friend's dog from the steel jaw trap to live another day, but the dog who was caught in the Conibear trap died. Heartbreaking.

"DEC encourages trappers to use common sense when setting traps and to set traps where they cannot be easily accessed by people or domestic animals." It's not very comforting knowing that "common sense" is what we rely on in regard to animal trapping. The law states that a trap cannot be set less than 100 feet from publicly accessed trails/land. Who among us hasn't bushwhacked off a trail or had their dog take off after a squirrel? One hundred feet is nothing for a dog running at full tilt.

It is suggested that we should all become familiar with trapping laws so that when we do walk out into the wilderness with our pets we are aware of the areas we are walking in and understand that traps may be baited and hidden under brush.

In the remote possibility that we do educate ourselves in the trapping laws, which is unlikely, that's no assurance that the trappers are following them.

When looking over the laws regarding trapping here in New York state, it was clear there were too many to list so I decided it's best to offer the website if you are interested: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor.9209.html. The steel jaw trap is banned in 88 countries and some U.S. states but still the U.S. lags far behind in trapping reform.

We need to lobby for more sensible and humane regulations to the Environmental Conservation Law so that our wilderness and those who walk in it remain safe.

I looked up "Why do people trap animals?" Although there may be exceptions regarding destructive and dangerous wildlife, it all boils down to sport and recreation. For the most part, it is not a necessity and even if there are some commercial gains (selling fur) it's mostly about vicious slaughter. Where is the awareness? Where is the compassion? Are we not humans with the intellect and heart to know better?

"The thinking person must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another."

(Albert Schweitzer)

 
 

 

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