Friday, March 27, 2009

End the barbarity

Raised S.B. No. 994, AN ACT CONCERNING LEGHOLD TRAPS, has made it out of committee. Anyone interested in ending the barbaric practice should contact their Reps and Senators now. Here is a handy list of members of the Environment Committee. Thanks Wonderwoman!

From the joint favorable report:


To prevent needless animal suffering caused by leghold and body crushing traps.


Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) opposes this bill as it would be detrimental to wildlife management in the state. DEP feels these traps are the most effective tool available to control and prevent damage caused by coyotes and beavers. Currently Connecticut has strict laws and regulations which regulate the use of foothold and conibear traps which include when and where such traps can be used and they feel more restrictions will not prevent the illegal use of these traps. DEP testimony states that regulated trapping is essential to the balance between wildlife and humans.

Department of Agriculture opposes this bill as they feel conibear traps are an effective way to trap beavers and eliminate flooding problems caused by beaver dam. Where there may be alternatives to conibear traps (i.e. “suitcase-type, live traps), the alternatives are costly and dangerous to the humans setting them. When addressing coyote problems leghold traps are the only effective way to trap them, coyote are abundant and cause safety and public health problems such as rabies transmission and tick borne disease. Banning the use of these traps would take away farmers and trappers most effective tools.


ASPCA supports this bill as they can maim and/or kill humans, companion animals and non-targeted wildlife. The ASPCA supplied a partial list of the 85+ page list of non-target species, companion animals and humans trapped in leghold traps, of the 15 incidents reported 8 of the “victims” died as a direct result of the injuries inflicted by the trap.

The Humane Society of the United States supports this bill as these traps cause needless suffering to the trapped animals. Not only are the animals subject to physical damage ranging from bone fractures to hemorrhage, but they are also subject to physiological stress because in many cases death is not immediate. Conibear (submersion traps) are inhumane as death is caused by drowning. They induce panic and there is a prolonged period until unconsciousness. Testimony submitted indicates that body-crushing traps which are designed to kill the animal by snapping shut on the animal's spinal column are not always effective as it is impossible to control the size, position and direction of the animal entering the trap. They state that animals often endure prolonged suffering as they are not always killed by the clamping force of the trap. The Humane Society feels these are cruel trapping practices. Further the Humane Society states there are non-lethal means of trapping animals whether they be coyote, beaver or nuisance wildlife.

Skip Hilliker, licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator supports this bill as he feels these traps are “grossly inhumane.” He states that he has been trapping in Connecticut for the past 50 years and in 1985 switched to live catch for trapping as trappers have humane alternatives available to them. He states that even with current modifications to the leghold and padded traps the animals still suffer unnecessary pain and suffering as it is impossible for a trapper to guarantee an instant death.

Michael Broderick, D.V.M., supports this bill as he has seen the effects of these traps. He states leghold traps cause horrific injuries and animals endure excruciating pain as a result of being caught in them. He states that leghold traps kill and maim non-targeted species included endangered species and domestic pets. He believes it would be “immoral not to ban this devise from our humane minded state.”

Kimberly McClure Brinton D.V.M. supports this bill and feels these traps are cruel and cause unnecessary suffering.

Gail Petras, City of Middletown Animal Control Officer supports this bill as she has personally tended to incidents involving non-targeted animals. In one case the trap was set illegally in a residential neighborhood. She further states that she has seen a skunk and coyote with leghold traps stuck on them. She feels that these animals will eventually need to be euthanized. She also states these incidents are acts of irresponsible people and the animals should not be subject to unnecessary suffering.

Kathy Grasso, Wildlife Rehabilitator supports this bill. Ms. Grasso states she has witnessed firsthand pain and suffering caused by leghold traps. She cared for a Great Horned Owl that was not the intended target of the leghold trap. The owl died as a result of the injury incurred by the leghold trap. She states that many non-targeted species become victims of leghold traps and feels they are inhumane.

[more at the link]

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