Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Tom Venesky wrote last Sunday in The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, PA, that:
- Trapping keeps animals from being hit by vehicles.
- Traps are “the best tool to manage furbearer populations.”
- Trappers were misrepresented by Born Free USA in its recent undercover investigation.
- He knows best.
It doesn’t, they aren’t, they weren’t, and he doesn’t.
Venesky defends trapping in much the same way a substance-deficient politician maligns his more accomplished opponent.
He uses non sequiturs — and faulty grammar — to camouflage unpleasant facts. (“Rather than wind up rotting alongside a road or dying a slow, painful death from disease, trapping not only keeps populations in check but ensures that the furbearer is utilized.”)
He mischievously implies that Conibear traps are fool-proof. (Conibear, or body-grip, traps represent “the very trap capable of dispatching a furbearer instantly and humanely.”)
He parades a vested-interest mouthpiece to spread fantasized innuendo. (“Barry Warner, public relations director for the Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association, believes that many of the cruel incidents contained in Born Free USA’s video are actually staged.”)
He makes lazy, false allegations. (“It’s a shame that a valuable wildlife management tool such as trapping is the target of a group that uses sensationalism and emotion — not facts — to back its argument.”)
Venesky makes reference to our petitioning the Pennsylvania Game Commission to prohibit the use of body-gripping and Conibear traps on public lands, and to prohibit the use of snares altogether. That effort failed, to his satisfaction. He points out that, after all, the petition “contains a huge contraction.”
He obviously meant to write “contradiction” rather than “contraction,” but now that he mentions it …
What contracts are traps that maim and kill not just furbearing wildlife, but non-targeted animals who include dogs and cats. What also contracts are minds that cling to the outdated notion that trapping can be “humane.”
Nobody’s perfect and even the best writers will have typos from time to time. But if Venesky’s entire column is written so sloppily, perhaps it’s clear that his arguments are formed with equal sloppiness.