A number of pet deaths in recent weeks have spurred more controversy over the use of body grip traps that are used to kill animals including raccoons and bobcats in Minnesota.
At least six dogs have been killed in traps since this fall and it is believed that at least 25 have been killed in the last two years.
A bill was recently introduced by Senator Chuck Wiger, who believes other deaths have gone unreported, that would still allow trapping, but require that traps of all sizes be placed at least 5 feet off the ground or completely submerged under water if they’re used to trap muskrats. The bill, which is also being supported by Representative John Ward is being opposed by most trappers who are, of course, arguing that such placement of body traps off of the ground would make them ineffective.
“There’s absolutely no way we’ll please everyone,” said Dennis Simon, Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief.
The Department of Natural Resources has also introduced its own proposal, which would require that “220-size traps couldn’t be used on public lands unless they are 4 feet above ground. Alternatively, the trap trigger would need to be recessed 7 inches from the opening of an enclosure holding a trap (the opening could be no greater than 50 square inches.) Or the trap would need to be in an enclosure with one entrance facing the ground, set no more than 6 inches from the ground, with the trigger recessed 4 inches,” according to the Star Tribune.
The problem, for those who are opposed to trapping, isn’t where the traps are placed or how many unenforceable regulations surround them…it’s that they’re placed anywhere. These types of traps are a cruel and barbaric way of unnecessarily killing wild animals for nothing more than their fur and they don’t discriminate.
“For every target animal trapped at least two non-target animals are brutally captured. Family cats and dogs, as well as endangered species, are often severely injured or killed as a result of traps set for wild animals by trappers who plan to capture them and strip their fur. Over the past three months, we have seen a record high in reports from the public about cats, dogs and other species getting caught. These traps are set in common areas where people are hiking with their pets, and children are playing. This is not only a tragedy for the animals, but a frightening public safety risk that must stop,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA.
Please sign the petition asking Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton to put an end to lethal traps.
You can also fill out a survey on other proposed changes on the Department of Natural Resources website for or against proposed changes including requiring non-toxic shot for rail and snipe hunting, adding a third waterfowl zone in southern Minnesota, and allow snaring to begin earlier on private property in the farmland zone.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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