Safe Trails
Danger: Trapping Ahead

Are people and pets harmed by traps on public lands?

No official medical database exists that tracks human-trap injuries (including severity or numbers) and most states do not require that trappers report non-targeted catches, including companion animals, which may either be injured or die in a trap.

Non-governmental organizations have attempted to track negative human encounters with traps, and most incidents have resulted indirectly from cat or dog rescue operations. Groups have recorded several mishaps to rescuers while freeing dogs from hidden traps. Trapped dogs experience stress when trapped, which results in dogs biting at the trap and everything within reach, including rescuers. Equestrians have been injured after being thrown when their horses inadvertently stepped on a hidden trap.

Prohibiting the use of indiscriminate traps on public lands will balance the expectations of the majority of public land users and will help ensure public safety. It also will protect individuals from enduring the emotional and financial strain of dealing with the loss or injury of their companion animals to the jaws of a trap.

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