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.
- Millions of “non-target” animals are also trapped, including companion animals and endangered or threatened species. Go to Born Free USA’s Ban Cruel Traps website to view our database of incidents in which non-target animals were trapped, or to report such an incident.
- Traps are commonly used to kill animals for the fur trade, for “nuisance” wildlife control, and in the federal government's killing of native carnivores. Many states allow wildlife damage control operators to sell the pelts of the animals they kill, thereby adding incentive to kill animals instead of resolve conflicts through non-lethal means.
- Body-gripping traps — a category that includes leghold traps, snares, and so-called kill-type Conibear traps — bring suffering and death to millions of animals each year.
- Animals frequently sustain severe injuries from being trapped. If not killed outright by the trap, animals can suffer physical trauma, dehydration, exposure to inclement weather, and predation by other animals.
- Trapped animals are most frequently clubbed or suffocated to death, as bullet holes and blood stains reduce the pelt’s value.
- The steel-jaw leghold trap is one of the most commonly used trap in the U.S. by commercial and recreational fur trappers today. As of 2005, 89 countries had banned use of the leghold trap, while in the U.S., only eight states had banned or severely restricted its use.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the World Veterinary Association, and the National Animal Control Association have declared that leghold traps are inhumane.
- Trapping regulations vary widely from state to state and are often poorly enforced. Many states have few restrictions on the types of traps that can be used, the number of animals that can be trapped, or how trapped animals are to be killed. A number of states have no laws requiring that traps be checked on a regular basis, which can lead to tremendous animal suffering and injuries.
- Despite the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System to provide a safe haven for wild animals, trapping is allowed on more than half of all refuges across the U.S.
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