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For Immediate Release: 05/10/11

Protect People, Wildlife and Companion Animals, Pennsylvania!

Born Free USA Petitions State’s Game Commission to Change Animal Trapping Regulations

On May 10, 2011, Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, petitioned the Pennsylvania Game Commission to prohibit the use of body-gripping and Conibear traps by animal trappers on public lands, and to prohibit the use of cable restraints (“snares”) altogether. The petition also asks that trappers be required to employ an efficient and less-cruel method of killing trapped animals; to report the number and type of non-targeted animals caught by traps (often cats and dogs); and for traps to be checked at least once every 24 hours.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, “Today’s petition for common-sense regulatory changes comes on the heels of our landmark undercover trapping investigation conducted this year in Pennsylvania, which showed many non-targeted animals caught in body-gripping traps and cable restraints, and that trappers violate season limits, ignore what little regulations are in place, and use severely inhumane and shockingly cruel methods to kill trapped animals. What we found in Pennsylvania calls into question the commission’s permissive stance on trapping, as well its enforcement of existing trapping regulations.”

After the Born Free USA investigation details were made public, many of the organization’s Pennsylvania members expressed concern over the indiscriminate and inhumane trapping techniques allowed in their state. According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, all of the state’s citizens have a right to enjoy the preservation of natural values of the environment, which includes the conservation and protection of furbearing animals.

Roberts notes, “Trapping is a horrific, highly unregulated, inhumane and dangerous industry. Commercial fur trapping dates back to the early 1600s and has hardly changed. It remains barbaric and many people are not even aware that this is going on in most of the U.S.”

Most states, including Pennsylvania, do not require trappers to report non-targeted animals who are trapped or killed. Born Free USA estimates that one in three victims trapped are non-targeted animals — often family cats and dogs. The organization receives numerous calls from families who have seen their pet suffer in the jaws of a trap in their neighborhood, and keeps an online database of non-targeted incidents at www.bornfreeusa.org/database.

Born Free USA’s 2011 undercover trapping investigation in Pennsylvania captured video footage that contains shocking cruelty and brutality towards animals including: the prolonged drowning of a raccoon by a trapper with a stick, the chest-crushing suffocating of foxes, the capture and killing of non-targeted animals, and much more. (Editors note: video is at http://www.bornfreeusa.org/c3_trapping_investigation.php.)

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 United Kingdom-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.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, (203) 270-8929; rodicompany@earthlink.net.

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