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Non-Target Trapping Incidents Database

"Livestock protection," "fur fashion," "nuisance wildlife management" — these and other misguided, unenlightened and, at their core, lazy and fear-based phrases swirl about the practice of trapping. Millions of animals are trapped each year, causing untold suffering and death for many of the creatures, not all of whom were targeted by the trappers. Dogs, cats, endangered species and even humans can be caught in leg-hold traps, snares or body-crushing Conibear "kill" traps. Born Free USA's newest interactive database details just a tiny fraction of such tragedies, and we encourage anyone who knows the specifics about other non-target trapping incidents to send us the details so we can add them to the database.

Which state do you think has the most incidents? Our database quickly answers that and many other questions. Spend just a few minutes poking around — refining your searches through pull-down menus or by viewing maps whose "balloons" each link to details of specific incidents — and you will become more aware of how widespread and hideous trapping can be. Once an animal is caught she may remain in the trap for several days before starving or dying from exposure. Caught in a snare, they can slowly strangle to death. Caught in leghold traps, an animal may chew off his own paw to escape, only to die days later from the injury. Conibear traps used in water typically kill by drowning their victims, and when used on land, they frequently cause death by crushing internal organs or choking off air supply.

Both targeted and non-targeted animals (including companion animals and endangered species) fall victim to traps. Born Free USA has documented through a comprehensive review of scientific literature that trapped animals may suffer severe physical injury, psychological trauma, thirst, hypothermia, and predation. They may remain in traps for days or longer before dying or being killed — often by bludgeoning so as not to damage the animal's valuable pelt.

Learn more about our trapping campaigns and programs
From Alaska to Wyoming, we assign 50 grades in our State Trapping Report Card