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The Fur Trade Today - 02/27/05

Published 02/27/05

An incredible amount of cruelty inflicted on animals reared and slaughtered for their fur in China has been revealed by the group Care for the Wild International. Because of their expose, the groups is urging an immediate UK and EU ban on the import of Chinese fur products. Among the cruelty inflicted on the animals was the stunning of animals by repeatedly hitting them on the head or swinging them against the ground, and slaughter methods and many of the animals literally being skinned alive.

Source: Scotsman.com, 02/03/05

Marcela Egea found her two English Mastiffs shot to death by a creek near her Cass County, Missouri house after they were trapped and killed by a trapper trying to catch beavers and otters. The trapper, Michael Kartman, said he shot the dogs several times each as a business decision because he doesn’t have time to notify people every time a pet gets caught. “Those dogs were interfering with my business,” Kartman, 39, said at his Belton home. “I’ve killed dogs before.”

The Missouri Department of Conservation cited Kartman for failing to label his traps with his name and address and for littering the creek bank with a dead skunk, two possums and a raccoon he had also caught in his traps and shot. Kartman said he left the carcasses because the pelts had little value. Kartman is one of about 4,000 licensed trappers in Missouri.

Sources: TheKansasCityChannel.com, 02/07/05
Kansas City Star, 02/14/05

After 45 years and the selective breeding of 45,000 foxes scientists have produced foxes who are tame. Foxes bred on a farm in Siberia since 1959 not only look like dogs, they act like them in their ability to read someone’s face for visual cues on what they are expected to do. Dmitry Belyaev, a Russian geneticist, bred the foxes for tameness and lack of aggression to humans as part of a fur-farming project. Only those with the most gentle disposition were allowed to breed.

Source: independent.co.uk, 02/08/05

Brian Cherry and Peg Klouda found their white Great Pyrenees dog Tio shot dead by a trapper and are calling for stricter trapping laws. They’ve started an organization to work on the cause: Trapping Information Offensive, Montana, with the acronym TIO.

Trapper Fred Simsonsen shot Tio twice in the top of the head when the dog was caught in one of his traps. “It’s their fault ... If you catch a dog, it isn’t supposed to be there in the first place,” he said in a phone interview.

Klouda and Cherry are calling for legislation that requires every trapper to have a license (licenses are not required for resident trappers to trap predators), mandatory trapper education, posted notification of traps in the area. As it stands, “you don’t need any education to get a trapping license,” Cherry said.

Trapping laws require that traps must be tagged with the trapper’s name and identification number and that ground traps must be set at least 30 feet from the centerline of any public road, hiking trail or cross-country ski trail and 1,000 feet from a campground. “Non-target species” that are trapped must be released uninjured; if they’re injured, the trapper must immediately notify a Fish, Wildlife and Parks employee. Traps “should” be checked every 48 hours and must be picked up at the end of the season. [This indicates that there is no trap check time requirements in the state — JM]

In the past year, Bitterroot, MT veterinarian Linda Perry has seen two dogs and two cats caught in traps. One cat was gone for several days and came home dragging a trap that she had dug out of the ground. Even if a trap doesn’t break the skin, Perry said, the animal often loses his/her leg. “The blood supply’s gone for so long, you’re looking at amputations after a while,” she said. “And they can break their leg trying to get out.”

Source: The Missoulian, 02/09/05

A recent bill in New York State, A 2280, was introduced by Assemblyman McGee and would legalize snares.

Source: http://www.scopeny.org/ARCHIVES/SCOPEnews.pdf

Gene Van Deusen of the New York Houndsmen Association reports that his dog was killed while he was out fox hunting the day before Christmas. After his dog wandered off for 45 minutes Van Deusen went to look for her. He found his dog had been trapped and killed by a 220 Conibear trap that was set on a deer carcass. Mr. Van Deusen said “There are appropriate methods for utilizing a 220 Conibear Trap, however in my 40 years of trapping I have not and would not consider setting this trap on a deer carcass for coon.” “With the population density we face today, one would think common sense would prevail utilizing a less lethal approach,” he added.

Source: New York Houndsmen Association Newsletter, Winter 2005

“Persian lamb” is the fur of newborn lambs, and “broadtail” is the fur of a fetal lamb who was torn from her mother’s womb. The Humane Society of the United States conducted an investigation into lamb farms in Uzbekistan and found that pregnant ewes are routinely killed and their developing lamb fetuses are torn from their bodies and skinned. The pregnant ewes were slaughtered without first being stunned.

The fur is not a by-product of the meat or wool industry. Though the meat of the slaughtered adult sheep was sometimes used, the meat is essentially a by-product of the fur industry. The industry sometimes use the words caracul, cha, swakara, namikara, karakulcha and others to describe this type of fur. Broadtail coats may cost $25,000 and Persian (newborn lamb) may cost $5,000-$12,000.

Sources: Andrea Cimino 02/09/05

Current Nova Scotia provincial law allows trappers to set traps anywhere, as long as they are not within 180 meters of “a dwelling, school, playground, athletic field or place of business.” As long as this law is obeyed, trappers may legally trap private property without the land owner’s knowledge or permission. The only way property owners can legally keep trappers off their land is if they post signs saying that there is no hunting and/or trapping allowed. General no-trespassing signs will not legally keep hunters and trappers away, and without the right signage land owners finding traps on their property outside the 180-meter limit do not have the right to remove them. Trappers may also set traps anywhere along a public roadway.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has set up a committee of trappers, trail experts and dog lovers to examine trapping guidelines. Barry Sabean, director of wildlife for the province’s DNR said he expects to have some recommendations from the committee in about a month, and is confident there will be changes to the regulations before next season.


Janice Peters’ dog Storm recently became caught in a trap only a few hundred meters from her home near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. “All I could hear was her screaming ... and her snout was caught in one of these traps.”

Dale Stone’s dog Bear was not as lucky as Storm. Stone was riding her horse with Bear accompanying them along a public highway on February 4, when something caught the Bear’s attention. Within seconds Stone heard a snap, and turned to see her German shepherd-border collie mix caught in a large trap just 10 meters from the road. “I couldn’t get to him fast enough to save him,” said Stone, from her home in Big Baddeck, NS. The dog struggled, but died by the time Stone jumped from her horse and reached the trap, which had been baited with a deer carcass.

Source: Canadian Press, 02/13/05

While Annette Fox lost Abigail, a golden Labrador cross, last month when she was killed by a trapper’s snare near her Maple Ridge, BC home. Fox’s 11-year-old daughter found Abigail with the snare around her neck. Allan Starkey of the Lower Mainland Trappers’ Association says that every year he hears of trappers catching dogs.

Source: www.mapleridgenews.com, 02/16/05

Trapping is dying in South Carolina. The state sold only 670 furbearer trapping licenses. Trapping used to be part of farm life but so many people trapped beavers that they were almost wiped out in the state.

Source: www.thestate.com, 02/21/05

Legislation has been introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly that would ban leghold traps. Currently, the trap can be used with a permit from state environmental regulators.

Source: www.eyewitnessnewstv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2976386&nav=F2DOWcO3</p>

Calendar year 2004 saw an increase of fur apparel into the U.S., reaching their highest level since 1987. U.S. Commerce Department figures indicate that there was an increase of 21.6% over 2003. Hong Kong/China accounted for 54% of the year’s total.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 02/21/05

River otters, once extirpated from Iowa as a result of unregulated trapping, stream pollution and agricultural activities, have recovered so well the DNR is planning a limited trapping season for otters in 2006 said Ron Andrews, furbearers biologist for the DNR. The DNR must first get approval from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The DNR receives between 75 to 100 reports annually from trappers who catch otters in traps set for raccoons, minks and muskrats, although Andrews predicts the number of otters actually caught is higher. Trappers are supposed to turn in to the DNR any otter that dies, but some fail to.

Andrews also said that bobcat trapping could be legal in Iowa as soon as fall 2007.

Source: Ames Tribune, 02/25/05

The city of Wyandotte, Michigan has stopped using leghold traps after a man’s dog had been caught in one of the traps about two weeks ago. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said his black Labrador mix was lagging behind as they were walking together when he heard something that startled him. “It was a real loud yelp that sounded like a scream,” the man said. “I thought maybe he was tangling with an animal, but then saw he was caught.” Fortunately, the man figured out how to release the dog within about two minutes, and the dog suffered no lasting injuries.

Animal Control Officer Chuck Gillenwater said that officials have seen videotape of coyotes turning away from live traps, with the inference being that live traps won’t work. Wyandotte mayor Leonard Sabuda said he wasn’t aware the traps were being used or that the city had a coyote problem.

Source: www.thenewsherald.com, 02/27/05

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