Your help is urgently needed to oppose legislation that would expand trapping in Illinois. HB 4632 attempts to expand the use of cruel and indiscriminate traps throughout the state. If passed, this bill would initiate a new trapping season on river otters and bobcats. We need your help to keep this from happening.
The traps most commonly used to capture river otters and bobcats are the steel-jawed leghold trap and the Conibear trap. Triggered by a tension device, the weight of an animal stepping between the jaws of the steel-jawed leghold trap causes the jaws to slam shut on the victim in a vice-like grip.
Most animals react to the instant pain by frantically pulling against the trap in a desperate attempt to free themselves -- potentially enduring fractured bones, ripped tendons, blood loss, and tooth and mouth damage from chewing and biting at the trap. Leghold traps are inherently indiscriminate and will trap any unsuspecting animal that steps into the trap jaws. This includes family dogs and cats, and threatened and endangered species.
Body-gripping traps are cruel and are not species-selective. Instead, they catch and kill non-target animals. Effective alternatives to the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and Conibear traps exist. Instead of expanding trapping, these alternative methods should be utilized in the state of Illinois.
Family cats and dogs can and do become victims of traps. Veterinary reports reveal that caregivers have found their dogs and cats alive in these traps, but because the humans were unable to open the trap jaws they could not free their companions in time to save them.
As with many wild species, river otter and bobcat populations are naturally regulated by available food and habitat. Lethal control, however, can cause more otters and bobcats to reproduce, and encourages larger litter sizes because of decreased competition for food and habitat. As a result, killing these animals may actually be ineffective as it may cause an increase in the number of otters and bobcats.
This legislation specifically targets a predator species for trapping. Predator species are considered keystone species and help to maintain the health, stability, and integrity of ecosystems. Because populations of predators are regulated naturally by available food sources and the availability of habitat, there is no need to implement a harvest season on these species.
If HB 4632 bill is enacted into law, the expanded use of these cruel trapping devices will cause immense suffering.
Please take a few moments of your time to help defeat HB 4632 so it does not become state law.
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