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Dissecting the anti-trapping animal rights (AR) cover letter
Used with the permission of Donnie MacLeod (Mira Trapper)

AR letter> "The leg hold trap is a barbaric device banned in over 88 countries as well as in many states including Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. For centuries, these archaic and brutal devices have remained unchanged, and they continue to inflict horrible suffering and agonizing death for over ten million fur-bearing animals every year in the United States. Also, the American Veterinary Medical Association has issued a statement condemning the leg hold trap as inhumane."

(FACT A) Note that this is a new century with new applied science. Those powerful wolves and bobcats (animals used for relocation) don't lie. If the traps were as bad as AR's present it, the (relocated) animals caught would have been shot, not sent to howl where they have not been heard for one hundred years. The same goes for otter, fisher and marten (species which have also been successfully reintroduced into areas with the aid of leg hold traps).

AR letter> "A Yale University survey showed that 78% of the public are opposed to this method of trapping and the United States has failed to legislate against it's use."

(FACT B) The same could be said of taxes and politicians. However, we need both to make the government work. How would the politician feel if he stood up for something he really believed in and bad science or a misrepresentation of the truth by vocal AR's ripped it from him. We have trappers and wildlife personnel because they know about the animals in our woodlots. How many AR's see beyond an animals Bambi-ologized face.

AR letter> "The intense pain inflicted on animals by leg hold traps causes them to gnaw their teeth to the jawbone or chew off their own feet in an attempt to escape the trap's clutches."

(FACT C) This is not true. Animals are often found asleep in the trap. The animal paw is not the human foot. They have more padding with thick fur on foot pads and constant running through rough terrain makes the foot tough. The trap's restraining grip does not intensify pain, it numbs it as blood flow reduces. The new laminated jaw traps are species specific as are today's trappers, thus there usually is NO blood loss. Traps have wider (laminated) jaws and swiveled chains which use science to mechanically engineer paw traps. That is the reason animals like raccoon, fox, coyote, bobcat & wolves can often be found sound asleep on a nice sunny morning when viewed from afar. All of the critters mentioned should have the intelligence to recognize pain and suffering if they were SUFFERING.

AR letter> "If they do manage to free themselves, animals die of blood loss, infection, or predation."

(FACT D) If an animal frees itself there is not a long recovery period. In 45 years of trapping I (an experienced woodsman) have never found a trapped animal dead of exposure after slipping a trap. I have had foxes, mink, muskrats and other animals ripped out by other predators. Such is nature. After all, they eat one another anyway. I lost a fur, the owl gained a lunch.

AR letter> "The less fortunate ones will languish for days or even weeks subjected to thirst, hunger, exposure to extreme temperatures and attacks by predators."

(FACT E) Fur trappers catch animals to sell their top quality FUR. That would require making sure none of the above things happen. That would devalue the commodity I wish to SELL. Wild animals are subject to exposure of extreme temperatures & predation all the time. So what is different in the weather or predation in my trapping wild animals? Because I trap them, does that make them any worse off then in the grip of other animals in extreme whether conditions?

AR letter> "Some states require trappers to check their traps no more often than every 48 or 72 hours, and other states impose no time limit at all. If these animals are still alive when trappers finally do arrive, they are usually killed by being shot, clubbed or stomped to death."

(FACT F) Each state or province is different for a reason. You change the time limits, not the method of trapping. I personally want my animals caught last night, shot this morning and on stretchers tonight. That is why I get top dollar at one of our fur auction houses. Those auction houses sell a natural, biodegradable, renewable resource (often in foreign countries) to our country's gain. The economically valued commodity which I sell is sustainable and better serves man by the sale, then rotting of starvation, communicable diseases or the overbearing of other wildlife populations.

AR letter> "Since these traps are non-selective, they maim and kill threatened and endangered species, raptors, deer, livestock, and companion animals such as dogs and cats. Referred to as "trash" animals by trappers who place no financial value on them, these unintended victims are disposed of to avoid arousing further public outrage. Even small children have had a hand or a foot caught by these indiscriminate devices."

(FACT G) Lets analyze. The BMP (Best MANAGEMENT Practice) trapping standard studies disprove all of the above. The facts prove that the AR's have lied and created this FALLACY. The biologists in the field, with trappers across North America, all note almost no incidental catches. Not one child was caught in any trap during those studies either. I would be quite confident that more children choked on bubble gum in six months than were caught in traps in the last hundred years. A lot of children get caught in car doors though, should we ban cars or just the doors? The urban legends continue...

AR letter> "To change current law and add the U.S. to the list of countries banning leg hold-type devices, Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) have re-introduced their bills to ban the use of conventional steel jaw leg hold traps. The legislation (S. 1006/H.R. 1581) also bans the commerce in furs obtained from conventional leg hold traps. I urge you to support this long overdue legislation."

(FACT H) The purpose of the above statement is to destroy the fur industry. The purpose of the bill is to put emotions, wrought by lies and half-truths, above our wildlife conservation methods. If you checked into the backers of the bill they want wildlife to run free until it rots. Humans are not to be involved in wildlife management according to the AR quotes. Most demand the end of conservation methods, favoring TOTAL preservation of all animals, period.

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