A member of a wildlife advisory board in Clark County, Nevada is in the hot seat after a video he posted on an animal trapping website made its way to You Tube. The board member says the video which shows his dog barking and lunging at a bobcat caught in a trap, was filmed for educational purposes.
Tracy Truman, a lawyer and vice president of the Nevada Trappers Association, was appointed by county commissioners to be part of the Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife. The group is composed of sportsmen, farmers and ranchers who advise the Nevada Wildlife Commission on policies and regulations.
Truman, who has been trapping animals for the past 40 years, said he posted the video in December in an “online trapping forum as an educational tool to show other trappers that a dog doesn’t have to make contact with a trapped animal.”
The video was later reposted on You Tube without Truman’s authorization.
“This particular video was completely taken out of context,” said Truman. “This was something I had taken to show other people that you didn’t have to have an animal that would do damage to a trapped animal, and now, I’m sort of being painted as the cruel and inhumane one because I took the video to show something exactly the opposite.”
The minute long film shows Truman’s dog barking and lunging at a bobcat whose front paw is caught in a toothless trap. Truman’s hand is seen holding the chain to the trap and dragging the cat closer to the dog.
Fellow commissioner Tom Collins agrees that the video shows a model of “restrained behavior for a trapping dog.”
Animal activists, on the other hand are calling for Truman to be removed from the prestigious wildlife advisory board.
Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals, called the video “cruel and barbaric.”
County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said, “It’s extremely troubling to see an animal in that type of distress.” He called the video “mean” and “disturbing.”
Trapping is legal in Nevada and bobcat fur is in demand. Last year an annual fur sale in the small town of Fallon had 200 “fur harvesters” attend from 12 states. More than 2,000 bobcat pelts sold from $443 to $1,111. The fur sale also handled 1,500 coyote, gray fox and muskrat furs.
Below is Mr. Truman’s educational video for trappers and their dogs.
Photo from mikebaird via flickr