Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steel jaw leghold traps - still legal

I dropped by Gander Mountain, an outdoor sporting goods chain with a local store here in Fredericksburg, today with my son because he wanted to get some hearing protection. While there, I passed by a display of various steel jawed leghold traps, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I actually thought those inhumane devices had been banned like 25 years ago. Sadly, that's not the case.

I'm not sure exactly where they're still legal for use in the US, but one hit I turned up on Google dated in 2006 said that they were banned in only eight states, so 42 states still allow them. I stopped searching after a few minutes because I kept turning up anti-leghold trap sites with some pretty heartbreaking pictures.

I don't think I have to go into a lot of detail about why these are inhumane. Everyone's heard stories about animals that have chewed off a limb to free themselves from such a trap, or of trappers not checking their traps often (or forgetting about them altogether) and animals dying in agony of starvation, dehydration, hypothermia or easy predation.

These traps are indescriminate. Children and household pets have been known to trip them, and there are just far more humane methods of trapping animals without resorting to this horribly cruel method. There's absolutely no reason to permit the use of these traps.

I love animals, but I'm not a bleeding heart about it. I'm fine with hunting when the game is used for food, and I might even be OK with trapping an animal for pelts if it's done humanely. I just haven't given it that much thought. But leghold traps? Anybody with a soul would have to agree that they're not humane.

I'm not one for crusades, but I won't be shopping at Gander Mountain any more.


Charles said...

We attempted a ban here in CT - it died in committee. The hunting lobby turns out in force for the hearings and a lot politicians don't want to rile that voting bloc.

The DEP opposed the ban. Remind me, what is the purpose of the DEP? Their argument was it keeps the coyote population down. DEP also favors Sunday hunting, it seems they're in line with the hunters on most issues.

TC said...

I just started to learn about how cruel trapping is and the use of snares. I too am surprised to hear that steel jawed leg traps are still legal even in NY? In PA nothing surprises me there for they love cruelty to wildlife.

FoC said...

I wonder if the bleeding hearts are crying when a fish gets caught in a net and dies of slow suffocation for their fish fry on saturday night?

And how about all those pigs and cattle that they stuff down their gullets that were treated inhumanely while alive and even worse when they get knocked in the head and are still conscious when the rendering begins?

Please...unless you people are killing your own animals for meat you really arent doing much of anything but being hypocrites