Every year, trappers kill 10 million raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, nutria, beavers, otters, and other fur-bearing animals. Trappers use various types of traps, including snares and conibear traps, but the steel-jaw trap is the one that’s most widely used. The American Veterinary Medical Association condemns these traps and has classified them as “inhumane.” In Nevada, these traps are allowed, trappers are only “required” to check there traps once every 4 days, and 50% of trappers admit to not visiting that often. There is not one scientific report supporting Nevada’s 4-day visitation rule and there is robust evidence suggesting this is too long, causing needless harm and cruelty.
When an animal steps on the steel-jaw trap spring, the trap’s jaws slam shut, clamping down on the animal’s limb or paw. As the animal struggles in excruciating pain to get free, the steel vise cuts into his or her flesh—often down to the bone—mutilating the leg or paw. Some animals, especially mothers desperate to return to their young, will even attempt to chew or twist off their trapped limbs.
Animals often struggle for days before they finally succumb to exhaustion, exposure, frostbite, shock, and death.
Because steel-jaw traps have been banned in 88 countries. Their use is banned or restricted in several U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington. The European Union has banned the use of steel-jaw traps in Europe and banned the importation of pelts from countries that use these cruel devices to trap and kill fur-bearing animals.