Trapping is an extremely controversial topic. While animal rights activists don’t miss out on a single opportunity to tell us how barbaric and inhumane fur trapping is, they fail to provide the balanced overview of the issue itself.
So, rather than go from one extreme to the other, it’s important to explore the topic and to develop a more nuanced view of trapping.
Here are most popular statements from various AR groups and our response to them.
Traps cause severe distress, fear, and pain to both wildlife and pets. As a result, animals can suffer lacerations, broken bones, and joint dislocation.
Whenever possible, trapping systems are designed to kill captured animals very quickly – usually within a few minutes. Traps work very much like regular mousetraps; the only difference is that they are larger and more powerful.
Sometimes animals are too large to be taken in lethal (“quick-killing”) traps. Therefore, “live-holding” devices have been developed to capture bigger predators such as: coyote, lynx, bobcat, or fox. The device simply holds the animal with minimal injury until the trapper arrives.
The “Steel-teeth” method is usually shown in most AR activist campaigns. Unfortunately, they fail to mention that in most places it was banned decades ago.
Nowadays, there is a modern “leg-hold” alternative trap that is designed to hold animals with minimal injuries. People will be surprised to know that modern “offset” jaws don’t close completely.
Trapped animals can suffer from thirst and starvation.
According to most trapping regulations, traps MUST be checked once a day. Such regular visits severely limit and even exclude the possibility of thirst or starvation. Any person not obeying these regulations would automatically violate trap prohibition regulations.
3. Myth No3
Animals still alive when the trapper checks the trap line. They are later killed by strangulation or shooting.
That is partially true. Some traps are designed to be live-restraining devices in order to be able to release animals captured by the mistake. Although blunt force trauma or shooting are not aesthetically pleasing methods of killing an animal, they are globally recognized as most effective and quick.
4. Myth No4
Commercial trapping is not a “wildlife management tool”. There are no bag limits and no limits on the number of traps that can be set. Trapping activity is driven by the price of pelts, not by the need to manage wildlife populations.
Animal welfare organizations have issued policy statements that strongly support the role commercial trapping plays in achieving wildlife management objectives.
The length, bag limits, types of traps, number of traps allowed per trapper is carefully considered during the development of management strategies.