Body-gripping traps are indiscriminate. Many companion dogs and cats have been caught, maimed or killed in these dreadful devices, and even with the help of frantic humans, they have died in shock and pain because these traps are nearly impossible to open without the correct key device to release the locking mechanism. These traps can and often do catch non-target wildlife species of no value to fur trappers, including birds and even rare and endangered animals. In Nevada, trappers are allowed to set such traps next to and even on trails used by hikers and hunters….and their dogs! And there is no set-back distance from communities (see our Testimonials section and you’ll see a recent example of a dog trapped just 50 yards from a housing development in the Reno city limits.)
We define “body-gripping traps” as leghold traps; neck snares; leg or foot snares; and Conibear and other traps designed to instantly kill by crushing the neck or torso of the animal. Some such devices may kill instantly but more often the victims suffer severe physical injury, psychological trauma, thirst, hypothermia, frost bite and predation.
Trappers have designed a class of “quick-kill” traps that supposedly kill instantly by slamming shut on an animal’s body, crushing vital organs. Like all traps, they don’t always work as planned, often with horrific results. The animal may enter a “quick-kill” trap the wrong way, and is partly crushed, and dies slowly. Snow and ice conditions can prevent proper closure. Aquatic mammals, like beavers, reflexively close off their air passages when submerged, and slowly suffocate while frantically trying to reach the surface, dying in terror without actually drowning. A beaver can take 20 minutes to die in such a “quick kill” trap.