Who supports better regulation of trapping?

In supporting better regulation of trapping we are in good company. A 1978 national survey conducted for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Yale University showed that 78% of respondents opposed the use of steel-jawed leghold traps.  A 1996 poll by the Animal Welfare Institute had similar results, with 74% of Americans opposed to leghold traps.  The American Veterinarian Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the World Veterinary Association, and the National Animal Control Association all agree that leghold traps are inhumane.   Nevada has the 3rd longest visitation period in the nation, at 96 hours, and 50% of Nevada trappers admit to not visiting their traps this often.   That makes the paid and suffering by leg hold traps far worse than it needs to be.

Trapping apologists will often try to suggest that fears expressed about the cruelty of trapping are exaggerated and unfounded, and generally expressed only by a fringe group of fanatical animal-rights extremists. It can be important to counter that argument by citing diverse critics of such traps – including many hunters and other traditional outdoor enthusiasts as well as professional wildlife managers.  In seeking better regulation of trapping, for example, being able to demonstrate a wide range of opinion from various sources in overall general agreement that these traps are inhumane can be helpful as a tactic in rebutting the contention that only a few extremists are concerned about the traps being cruel.

One thought on “Who supports better regulation of trapping?

  1. When foothold/leghold traps are singled out in response to single-issue politics, trappers simply switch to lethal traps and snares–which have their own advantages, but which cause their own kinds of problems.

    Lethal traps and snares are certified as “humane” when the definition of “humane” includes killing an animal relatively quickly.

    According to the same system of definitions (e.g. the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS)), foothold/leghold traps are certified as “humane” when the definition includes restraining an animal by its foot or leg without the options of wring-off, or escape with serious injury, or escape with the trap still attached, etc.; and when the definition includes restraining a wild animal, exposed to the elements, with relatively less discomfort and permanent injury.

    Humane apologists, dog-protection advocates, endangered-species advocates, fish & game proponents, etc. sometimes accept one of these definitions of “humane” and reject the others. I think we need to examine each of these advantages and disadvantages, and come up with trapping regulations that at least attempt to optimize the situation for people with different viewpoints, and for domestic and wild animals.

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