Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stop the needless cruelty

A bill was introduced into the General Assembly two weeks ago, Raised S.B. No. 994, which is AN ACT CONCERNING LEGHOLD TRAPS, to prevent needless animal suffering, introduced by: Environment Committee

This bill is set to issue regulations governing and prescribing the taking of all species of fur-bearing animals by use of traps within the state.

Specifically, it will regulate the horrific leg-hold traps used by hunters which often maim or kill unintended animals, including pets.

A few weeks ago, a great-horned owl was found dragging herself across a road with a leg-hold trap snapped shut on her foot. The bird was rescued and taken to the Yalesville Veterinary hospital. However, due to inevitable complications from her injuries, she had to be euthanized.

Here's another example; and if you are at all squeamish, please do not click on this link to an extremely graphic photo that shows the damage one of these traps caused to a family pet.

I understand that farmers need to control pest animals, and hunters enjoy providing skins of fur-bearing animals to stitch together and form a dead-animal coat, but there are other, much more humane traps that can be used to deal with these animals. And, the likelihood of a beloved pet falling victim to a trap that can mangle and/or kill the creature will drop drastically.

Contact your state representative and ask them to support SB 994, An Act Concerning Leghold Traps.

For more information, and to send an email to your representative and state senator, visit The Humane Society anti-trapping web page.


Connecticut Man1 said...

Do you think it'll pass? JC

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

I too am repulsed by the very notion.

However, DEP opposes the bill and must have their reasons.

Regarding the now famous trapped owl:

The trapping of the Owl was clearly an illegal act, if in fact it was trapped. The trap is rusted and has no chain - not a trapper’s. There is No name tag attached, No written permission on the land, No special permission for land trapping – All Illegal. The trap cannot be set due to the bent Dog (see below)! How did the Owl‘s foot get into an inoperable trap? Was the Owl placed in the trap? On who’s part?? Is this a “SET –UP” to promote this type legislation?

CT Bob said...

So, would you support the bill?

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

CT Bob said...
So, would you support the bill?

I'm not an ourdoorsy guy; and would therefore rely on the DEP's perspective, unless someone could illustrate why and without an emotional overload.

CT Bob said...

Can you cite the DEP opposition to the bill? I've searched their website and can't find anything at all about the leghold trap bill.

Charles said...

I heard the DEP deputy's testimony. They oppose the bill in rather strong terms. They also support Sunday hunting.

Can someone please remind me - what is DEP's purpose?

The testimony should be online by now....

CT Bob said...

I have to look online for it. I'd like to know how they justify torturing animals (including some pets) to death rather than humanely trapping and euthanizing them.

Anonymous said...

The sentiment against this form of animal cruelty is spreading rapidly.
Check out a couple of the groups involved "out West".

Anonymous said...

Trouble makers - Just like the owl. What do you care if a wild animal dies in terror and agony?

Anonymous said...

trappers use traps. hunters shoot things. whoever wrote this should learn the difference. Leghold traps have been used for a long time, that is because they are effective. also you can make sets with them that you couldn't make with a conibear or snare

Charles said...

Either I'm overtired or the testimony isn't online yet. Sometimes it takes awhile for the testimony to be posted after a hearing. Found this blurb regarding the DEP testimony.

>>Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection, which strongly opposes the legislation, said the state's laws already are among the strictest in the nation. They restrict when and where the traps may be set and require mandatory trapper education, landowner permission and mandatory checks on traps.

The department said padded foothold traps are routinely used by wildlife researchers to capture birds and mammals alive and unharmed. Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy, in written testimony to the Environment Committee, said that foothold traps are the only practical device to capture coyotes, which have become abundant in the state and are blamed for killing livestock and pets.

Conibear traps are used for beavers and muskrats, DEP said.

"Despite the fact that Connecticut is a densely populated state, many species of wild animals occur at artificially high densities due to our land-use practices," McCarthy said. "We cannot overlook the fact that the balance of nature has been severely disrupted by man's activities."


Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>foothold traps are the only practical device to capture coyotes

A very real problem and a bona fide THREAT - Coyotes are dangerous and they will kill your child.

Further they are NOT native to CT so we didn't somehow displace them.

There should be a bounty on them like there is many other states.

Several attacks on the Cape over the past few years, one 3 year old boy will never have full use of his arm.

When it comes to Coyotes, any "live and let live" goodie two shoes attitude needs to be forgotten completely - these are NOT nice animals.

CT Bob said...

Nobody is saying you have to feed your children to coyotes.

But just like you shouldn't carpet bomb an entire foreign country to kill a few bad apples (well, Bush's old policies aside), you shouldn't simply set indiscriminate traps that are designed to maim ANY creature, INCLUDING children, who happen to step in one!

(Like how I managed to shoehorn a Bush reference in there? Oh, yes I'm brilliant!)

Anonymous said...

So how does an owl get caught in a conibear trap which has to be set under water?

Mass. has more beaver trapped now under the trapping ban then before the trapping ban.
The difference now, the tax payers have to get a permit from the state and PAY a trapper to remove the Beavers. This is often done "out of season" when the fur is useless, what a waste of a valuable natural resource!

A conibear trap is set underwater, During beaver season that often means under the ice.
This bill allows the use of hancock or suitcase traps for beaver.
A suitcase trap is like a huge clam, it is made of a steel frame and chain link fence. One side is staked on shore. the trap is designed to lift a 60 lb. beaver out of the water and onto shore (if it went the other way the beaver would drown).
I would not be comfortable setting this trap anywhere. Oh did I mention they cost $300.00! and are useless when there is ice.

As for leghold traps, I don't know what those are?

But I've released many animals from FOOThold traps including one Fisher that I released three days in a row, before I finally pulled the set.

The poor dog in that terrible picture must have been left in that trap for a long long time. If traps are checked every 24 hours like our law states there is no damage to the paw.

Whoever set the trap that caught that owl, didn't even have the sense to anchor the trap!

Charles said...

The bill has gotten out of committee and is headed up the chain.

Environment Committee Joint Favorable Report


Anonymous said...

The DEP testimony is available online at http://www.examiner.com/x-4401-Connecticut-Nature-Examiner~y2009m3d26-Connecticut-DEP-testimony-on-the-proposed-ban-on-fur-traps-SB-994. You can follow links on that page to a two-part article about the results of the 1996 ban on leghold and conibear traps in Massachusetts.

smb73180 said...

Ok, first I strongly oppose this bill. If you read about the owl you would know that it was caught illegally. Trapping is a tradition that has been going on for hundred of years. CT Bob said "I'd like to know how they justify torturing animals (including some pets) to death rather than humanely trapping and euthanizing them." Footholds do not torture animals!! Footholds do not kill either. If the animal is left in the trap and hasn't been checked like the state law says to, then obviously it will die. What is humanely trapping to you and why would animals that are trapped be euthanized? Yea, maybe a kid can step in a trap but guess what it will most likely just bruise. Also, it is not the trappers fault if your kid or a pet gets in their trap. Most trappers have landowner permission and therefore people would know footholds are being used in the area. Wake up, footholds aren't put right on the side of a main road for some kid or pet to step in. Again, traps should be checked every 24 hours. That dog looks like it was left for more than that. "Coyotes will kill your child"...right. So can many other things. I would be more worried about rabies or mange than anything else. Just because they are not native doesn't mean people should not treat it with respect. And anonymous, all wild animals are dangerous, that doesn't mean that they should all be killed. I like trapping but I believe that you should be ethical when dealing with situations and treat everything with respect. CT Bob, stop being so modest...you're not brilliant.

CT Bob said...

Maybe I'm not brilliant, but I have the intelligence to refrain from saying what you said:

"Footholds do not torture animals!!"

I'm sure of it. Actually, animals LOVE the feeling of having their bones snapped and their skin torn from leg hold traps. They probably seek them out because they're so much fun!

I'm not going to attempt to discuss this with you if you're not even trying to be intellectually honest.

I didn't argue for letting wild animals have run of the state, I simply mentioned there are lots more humane ways to trap and get rid of pest animals. Do we really need the twisted pleasure of knowing an animal suffers before it dies?

Besides, this post is so old (from March; you probably found it from a Google search) that nobody besides you and me will ever see it. Basically, once an article slips off the front page, nobody ever reads it again.

smb73180 said...

Ok first, in "some cases" animals can break bones in a foothold. yes, some. Traps are available with padded jaws, which have rubber inserts inside the jaws to reduce animal injuries. There are also modified traps with offset jaws which decreases pressure on an animal's leg. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1339&context=gpwdcwp

Traps are specially designed in different sizes for different sized animals which reduce injuries. http://www.fishwildlife.org/furbearer_bmp.html

Also, when a non-target animal is caught it usually can be released unharmed. Ok so you're not saying wild animals should have run of the state. Well, if there was no trapping then this would happen. For example coyotes. When CA banned foothold traps their attacks on people rose from 4 to 10 a yr, during the 5 yr period following the ban. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8qg662fb

Also, beavers can be huge pests. In Massachusetts, the beaver population increased from 24,000 in 1996 to over 70,000 beaver in 2001. http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/facts/mammals/beaver/beaver_management.htm

Most of the time footholds are used their purpose is to kill anyways for management, furs, or pest control.

And if that is the case with these posts, then why not remove the blog entirely?

good day.

CT Bob said...

"...then why not remove the blog (post) entirely?"

Because this is part of the archive of the blog. Even though there usually isn't active commenting on these older posts, I keep them for archive purposes.

This is absolutely what pretty much every other blog in the world does for reference purposes. I don't think I've ever deleted a single article from this blog simply because it wasn't current.