Jim Sullivan

No legitimate argument in favor of trapping

I came within inches of stepping in a steel-jaw leghold trap while hiking along an established trail on state land. While I would have suffered a lot of pain and significant injury had it crushed my foot, the fact that I was hiking with my dogs and grandchildren elevated my concern to another level and led me to give this issue a critical review.

As demonstrated by my experience, these traps are entirely indiscriminate, maiming and often killing animals, wild and domestic, that not only are unintended targets, but which often are protected species. Dogs, cats, deer, black bear, eagles, turkeys, and owls are among the many animals that are captured in these devices by trappers seeking fur, control of “nuisance” animals, or simply for “sport.”

If a similarly lax approach were applied to hunting, people would have license to shoot anything that moves.

Of course, no creature should be subjected to the suffering caused by this cruel and inhumane practice. Trapped animals are left to suffer for hours or days in the elements, while experiencing blood loss, frostbite, exhaustion, predation, severed tendons, torn ligaments, dislocated joints, and broken bones and teeth (from desperately chewing at the trap to escape). Many die trying in vain to escape the steel jaws of the trap. With no other hope of escape, trapped animals may resort to amputating their own limbs.

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