New Jersey Game Council Okays Illegal Foot Hold Traps

Under the leadership (rather, tyranny) of Governor Chris Christie, animals in New Jersey have taken hit after hit during his administration. Black bears are now again hunted and pigs were denied — by Christie’s veto power — the right to live without the use of deplorable gestation crates.

Now raccoons and opossums, who have been protected through a 1984 law making leg hold traps illegal, are again in danger of a new type of trap that the NJ Fish and Game Council are recommending as more humane.

More humane, really? What a joke!

These traps still catch an animal by snapping the foot, which has the potential to cause broken bones, decreased blood flow or blood loss, pain and suffering. The traps also leave the animal vulnerable to predation. It could be days before a trapper checks to see who has been caught, leaving the animal to suffer in fear, anxiety and pain.

The fur industry in New Jersey is tired of having to use the cumbersome cage traps to feed their need for fur and are looking to again use leg hold traps. There are three newer type of traps that are considered more selective in that they will not catch dogs, deer, birds or other animals with less dexterity than raccoons and opossums. The problem remains, however, that domestic cats are still at great risk of being caught in these traps.

The Three Traps

The EGG, the Duff and the Lil’ Grizz Get’rz are still leg hold traps that require the animal to place their foot in the baited trap to obtain food. The trap does not engage until the critter pulls his/her foot out and releases a lever causing the animal to become trapped. This is with a 60 pound force.

D.J. Schubert, a wildlife biologist and animal advocate, demonstrates the traps in question here.

What’s Being Done?

Animal advocates, including Susan Russell from the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ), are opposing this change. Russell fought over 30 years ago to get P.L.1984,c.37 (c.23:4-22.1 et seq) passed making any animal trap of steel-jawed leg hold type or types illegal.

Litigation has upheld the law. In 1985, then New Jersey Attorney General, Irwin Kimmelman, called the ban “absolute” and “unambiguous.”

The trappers weren’t happy about it then and have been trying to find ways around it ever since. So in 2015 New Jersey trappers proposed an amendment to the 1984 law claiming “encapsulated foothold traps” are more humane because they target the more dexterous wildlife.

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) oversees the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) which in turn oversees the NJ Fish and Game Council (NJFGC). It was the NJFGC that recommended allowing the EGG, the Duff and the Lil’ Grizz Get’rz traps.

With more than 98 percent of New Jersey residents being against hunting/trapping, the New Jersey Legislature has responded by sending Resolution No. 169 to Gov. Christie. It opposes the NJFGC recommendation to allow enclosed foot hold traps.

How You Can Help

Please contact Gov Christie’s office to request he veto NJFGC’s recommendation to allow the use of new or any leg hold traps in New Jersey.

Contact NJFGC to express your disappointment at their recommending the EGG, the Duff and the Lil’ Grizz Get’rz traps as humane.

And of course, since this barbaric type of hunting and trapping is based on the needs of the fur industry, you can vow to never wear or purchase fur of any kind. When the demand for a product goes away, the industry goes extinct.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

206 comments

Sue H
Sue H3 months ago

I so hope that this has been overturned by now. Terrible.

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Karina O.
Karina O2 years ago

I can't imagine a world where this man is made to be VICE PRESIDENT (Trump as president even worse!) - He probably won't be happy until all the wild land is developed and all the native wildlife hunted to extinction... And we (NJ folk) thought John Corzine was bad... Go figure!

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner3 years ago

I don't think that psycho Christie was "concerned" about the hurricane that hit his coastline at all.. on the contrary that psycho was rubbing his hands in glee at the deaths. Christie belongs in jail, not in a political position. He's a danger to the public and to the ecosystems.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Just disgusting to think that anyone would consider this being acceptable.

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell3 years ago

Thank you

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mari s.
Mari S3 years ago

PEOPLE CHOOSE NOT TO WEAR FUR ANYMORE!

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Caroline d.
Caroline d3 years ago

Unbearable !
Thanks for sharing.
Blessings for everyone .

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Caroline d.
Caroline d3 years ago

Unbearable !
Thanks for sharing.
Blessings for everyone .

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ali a.
ali a3 years ago

That is wrong.

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