Get The Facts:
- The United States catches more animals from the wild for the fur trade than any other country in the world. Three million to 5 million animals are trapped in the U.S. each year by commercial fur trappers.
- Countless wild animals are displaced by urban sprawl and habitat fragmentation, which sometimes lead to conflicts between people and wildlife.
- More than 50 million animals are violently killed for use in fashion every year.
Each year, more than 4 million animals are trapped and killed for their fur in the United States. Millions more are trapped and killed in the name of “livestock” and “game” protection and for “nuisance” animal control. Whatever the purpose, the consequences for the trapped animals are the same — pain, suffering, and death. Proponents argue that traps are humane and selective, and that trapping is tightly regulated, an important source of income for many people, and necessary for managing wildlife. These claims, however, are far from the truth.
What is the National Wildlife Refuge System?
Theodore Roosevelt established the first National Wildlife Refuge on Pelican Island, Florida, in 1903 to protect imperiled bird species. Since then, 519 refuges totaling 93 million acres have been added to the refuge system.
A national public opinion survey conducted by pollster Decision Research for the Animal Protection Institute (API) reveals that Americans are strongly opposed to the trapping of wild animals on National Wildlife Refuges. The refuge system, currently comprised of 529 units covering more than 93 million acres, was established nearly one hundred years ago as a haven for endangered species and a wide variety of plant and animal life. The API survey demonstrates the public's ongoing commitment to that mission and its opposition to refuge practices, such as trapping and hunting, that kill animals for sport or profit.
Steel-Jaw Leghold Traps
An archaic device used for centuries, the steel-jaw leghold trap is the most commonly used trap in the United States by commercial and recreational fur trappers. Triggered by a pan-tension device, the weight of an animal stepping between the jaws of the trap causes the jaws to slam shut on the victim’s leg, or other body part, in a vice-like grip.