Most people understand the term ‘wildlife refuge’ as places set aside for the protection of wildlife, areas where animals find much needed shelter from threats and dangers caused by humans. Trapping is such a threat and not only that – trapping causes pain and suffering for the unfortunate animals lingering in traps or snares. If still alive upon the trapper’s return, a trapped animal is either clubbed or stomped to death, strangulated, or, if s/he is ‘lucky,’ the animal is being shot in the head (to preserve the pelt). The main motivation behind trapping is “recreation” and “private profit” (fur). A wild animal, while in general considered being ‘owned’ by the public, transitions irreversibly and immediately into private property of the trapper when s/he is caught in a trap or snare. Hundreds of thousands of wild animals suffer and die each year at the hands of trappers, their pelts end up as some distorted and lifeless items of the fashion industry. Traps in Montana can be set year-round for ‘predators’ and non-game species – no animal is safe from getting caught, not even when mothers are nurturing their young; a few years ago, a mountain lion mother was found killed in a snare, along her body were two of her dead cubs, who had died of starvation because their mother could no longer nurture them. These are the kind of tragedies that trapping for fur causes, not known to the public but nevertheless a harsh reality of trapping. The National Wildlife Refuge System comprises a mere 5% of public lands. The least we can do now is providing these small pockets of “refuge” for wild animals, which is what Congresswoman, Nita Lowey (D-NY) is intending to do by reintroducing legislation to end the use of body-gripping traps within National Wildlife Refuges. Footloose Montana wholeheartedly endorses H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, to help restore the original intent of Roosevelt’s vision of the meaning ‘wildlife refuge’ as places where animals find true sanctuary.
We, The Wolf Army, feel that trapping has no place in today’s United States. While we are currently running a campaign to ban trapping in all public and federally owned lands we believe that HR 2657 is a large step in the right direction.
Trapping is cruel and inhumane from start to finish. First there are, for the lack of a better term, mechanical landmines are placed randomly throughout the landscape. Not only do these traps cause pain and suffering to any animal that unfortunately gets caught in them they are indiscriminate and will trap anything that comes into contact with it (quite often called “unintended victims” or “unintended captures”). These unintended victims can be anything from other animals, endangered species, children, or even pets (who are highly susceptible to these traps).
The trapped animal is then stuck exposed to the elements, with no protection, quite often for days with no access to food or water.
When the trapper arrives is has been documented that some like to torment the animal while it is trapped and then they will brutally kill the animal (quite often by drowning, strangulation, beating, the trapper will stand on the animal so it can’t breathe, the animal thrust against trees or other rocks, or any other method the trapper prefers.
If anyone did this to someone’s pet they would be put in jail in most states and it is unclear why pets are protected like this but wildlife is not.
The Wildlife Refuge system was created as a safe haven for wildlife and it should be but with hunting and trapping allowed it is clearly not a safe haven for wildlife nor is it safe for the people who wish to enjoy nature’s beauty.
Every year thousands of animals are trapped on National Wildlife Refuges Wildlife including coyotes, bobcats, otters, fox, wolves, and beavers—often for “recreation” and profit (fur).
Wildlife champion Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has reintroduced legislation to end the use of body-gripping traps used to trap and kill wildlife within National Wildlife Refuges. H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, helps to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System – to provide a safe-haven for wildlife – by banning the use of cruel body-gripping traps within the refuge system.
More than half of our nation’s National Wildlife Refuges allow the use of bodygripping traps including steel jaw leg-hold traps, Conibear traps, and snares.
Animals may suffer for hours or days — struggling to free themselves from the long-drawn-out pain inflicted by the traps.
Because they are inherently non-selective, body-gripping traps frequently capture and kill the very species National Wildlife Refuges are supposed to protect including Bald eagles, Canada Lynx and Gray Wolves.
H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, will ban these wildlife landmines helping to ensure that our National Wildlife Refuge System remains a true sanctuary for wild animals.