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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

We Do Cause Suffering ... but Apologize to No One

Published 12/10/08
By Barbara Schmitz, Senior Program Associate

“We trappers do cause pain and suffering to animals and apologize to no one.” Reading this sentence makes my blood pressure rise. This comment is a trapper’s reaction to someone whose family dog was caught and killed in a trap. This man displays no empathy, no remorse. Instead, he just acts as if he’s entitled.

The holidays are here and, ironically, the annual trapping season is in full swing in the U.S. And when those hundreds of thousands of body-crushing traps and snares are baited and set, reports of family dogs, cats, and endangered species that are caught in them begin to flow into my office. Horrifying pictures of maimed animals. Grieving, dazed individuals whose dogs died in their arms while they frantically struggled to remove a trap. It becomes an almost daily occurrence.

Losing an animal family member is always difficult, but to lose one violently and senselessly is just a tragedy. And the pain only deepens when the trappers themselves get involved. They share the following bits of cruel insight with the folks who have just lost their animals:

“Every time I kill a coon [sic] in my traps I’m so happy about the 4 bucks I’m gonna get for the pelt. I’m the master of the woods after all. And the 9 bucks I get for a Coyote just about gets me a 1/8th tank of gas! I know it’s kind of bad math, but factor in the fun I have beating the seriously maimed animals that get partially trapped in my snares. It’s their fault, stupid vermin.”

“If you don’t want trappers ... on your land, post the darn thing and call the authorities ... but to say you are going to take on a trapper you might be advised, they all carry guns and do have the right as anyone else to protect themselves from roaming rabid idiots. Maybe it should be mandatory for people to take a course on country way of life before moving out here. Eat a beaver, save a tree.”

“I’ve probably trapped more coyotes and muskrats than anyone else here. Trapping is a dangerous business. Children, dogs, pets, especially children can be caught in these traps. If you want to set a coyote trap and still have your thumbs, you’d better know what you are doing.” [Nebraska state senator LeRoy Louden]

Their own arrogant words dispel the myths that they often spout — that trapping is humane, that it’s necessary, that it’s selective and is tightly regulated. For the real facts, go to www.bornfreeusa.org/trapping. And, if you want to take a few moments to save an animal’s life, then write a letter to the editor or join our Action Alert Team to help pass stronger laws. Simple changes in your daily habits can make a difference, too — please avoid buying anything made with fur, and use non-lethal ways of living with wildlife.

Blogging off,

Barbara

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