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For Immediate Release: 09/30/10

Born Free USA Launches Trapping Database

Online Tool’s Designed To Be First Official Source to Track Incidents of Nontarget Animals Injured or Killed by Traps

Born Free USA, the nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has launched an interactive database that tracks incidents of cats, dogs and other nontarget victims who are injured or killed as a result of getting caught in traps set for wild animals. Born Free USA reports that for every target animal trapped, an estimated two nontarget animals are captured, and there is no existing official tracking system for these horrendous occurrences.

According to Will Travers, chief executive officer of Born Free USA, “Since almost no state agencies track this information impacting so many animals and their families, we are. It is unacceptable that thousands of innocent animals are brutally captured by trappers’ devices. In most states, wild animals are allowed to be trapped for commercialized fur use, sport, or recreation. Traps are also used to catch and kill so-called nuisance animals. This is happening where pets are outdoors and their families believe they are safe. Traps can be anywhere. They are cruel, deadly and do not discriminate.”

Born Free USA estimates that more than 300,000 nontarget animals are the unintended victims of body-crushing wildlife traps — leg-hold traps, Conibear traps, and snares (cable nooses) — set each year by trappers who aim to capture wild animals and strip them for fur. These traps are often in suburban neighborhoods where cats and dogs can easily get trapped and suffer excruciating pain and the loss of limbs or their life.

Born Free USA has received scores of heartbreaking reports from traumatized victims around the country who have seen their own pet trapped and severely injured or killed by a trap. Travers explains, “This is the tip of the iceberg. Most cases are not even reported. There is no system in place. Our database aims to fill that gap. We want people to come to us and tell us their story. We know how horrendous it is to see this happen to your own pet.”

The public is being asked to help Born Free USA add to its database and be the organization’s eyes and ears by asking veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators and others in their communities about incidents, and filling out a form.

“We are encouraging people to tell us their story so that we can work to ensure that it doesn’t happen to someone else’s beloved family pet,” Travers says.

Born Free USA (BFUSA) is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, BFUSA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets”, trapping and fur, and destructive international wildlife trade. BFUSA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas is home to more than 500 primates rescued from laboratories, roadside zoos, and private possession. BFUSA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation,” the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will, now CEO of both organizations. BFUSA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

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