End This Horrific Trapping Practice!
Final signature count: 15,670
Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
Leg and foot hold traps are banned in over 80 countries, and only 8 states. We can do better!
"Foothold" or traditional "leg-hold" traps snare an animal by the leg once they've reached in to grab bait. They have been traditionally used by fur trappers, as the mechanism does not harm the majority of the animal's fur. Once trapped, the animal is unable to eat, drink, return to their nest or babies, find shelter, or defend themselves from predators.
The real problem with leg-holds, despite their best possible design, is how wild animals behave in the trap once captured. Leg-hold traps are not designed to 'break bones' upon impact. If they did, the fragmented bones would actually enable an animal to escape, and animals will do anything and everything to escape — thrash, twist, sommersault, chew at their limb, bite the metal trap etc. — this is where much of the trauma and cruelty occurs1.
"The animal endures a painful and panic-filled wait until they either die from exhaustion, blood loss, dehydration, hypothermia, or are clubbed, choked or stomped to death by the trapper (so as not to damage the pelt)," the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (AFPA) reports.
Each year, millions of animals are killed for their fur in the United States, and many suffer prolonged deaths in traps. Further, that total is compiled by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) using data from state game agencies, many which do not submit data to the AFWA2.
Of course, these traps cannot be accurately targeted. Pets are occasionally victims of unsupervised traps, and can suffer mortal injury3.
"There's no way you can modify a leg-hold trap in a way that won't cause extreme trauma to the animal," said Animal Welfare Institute president Cathy Liss. "You have a device that is slamming onto the animal's limb, and it's going to hold them in a vice-like grip, severely restricting or cutting off circulation4."
This atrocious method of trapping animals has been banned in 80 countries. In the United States, however, only a few states have banned or restricted their use5. These states include:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
Eight is not enough. Leg-hold and foot-hold traps should be banned in all 50!
Sign the petition below and tell the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that leg-hold and foot-hold traps should be banned completely in the U.S.
- The Fur-Bearers (21 February 2013), "Leg-hold traps explained (Yes, they are STILL LEGAL!)"
- Animal Welfare Institute (2013), "While the World Moves On, US Still Caught in Its Traps."
- Hank Phillippi, WHDH 7 News Boston (29 October 2020), "Hank Investigates: Illegal Traps — A Threat to Your Pet."
- Sarah V Schweig, The Dodo (4 November 2016), "This Trap Was Banned For 30 Years, But It's Legal Again."
- Wildlife Crime Aware, "Traps Legal or Illegal."
To the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS),
I am writing you to express my concern over the permitted use of leg hold and foothold traps in the United States.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the National Animal Control Association, have all declared the steel-jaw leg hold trap inhumane, and the trap has been banned or restricted by more than 80 countries and 8 U.S. states.
They have been traditionally used by fur trappers, as the mechanism does not harm the majority of the animal's fur. But once trapped, the animal is unable to eat, drink, return to their nest or babies, find shelter, or defend themselves from predators.
The animal endures a painful and panic-filled wait until they either die from exhaustion, blood loss, dehydration, hypothermia, or are clubbed, choked or stomped to death by the trapper.
Time elapsed from being trapped to being found and killed could be hours. It could be days of suffering. Many resort to chewing off their own limbs, breaking teeth and bones to get free.
This atrocious method of trapping animals needs to be banned in the entire United States. Please enact legislation which prevents them from being used in the future.
Do not allow this cruelty to continue!