Steel-Jawed Traps Are Cruel And Inhumane

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Chattanoogan essentially reprinted a press release from an Ohio-based hunting industry organization, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, criticizing Fox Sports for occasionally airing a Public Service Announcement produced by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on the dangers of steel-jawed leghold traps (“Fox Sports Net to Air Free Anti-Trapping Ads,” Dec. 26). These traps are cruel and inhumane, killing wildlife and sometimes family pets. They are like landmines for animals, catching any creature unlucky enough to spring the trap.

Hunting enthusiasts often speak of the importance of delivering a quick kill to the animals they hunt. But there is no quick kill with steel-jawed leghold traps, which are left unattended and checked by the trapper only every 24, 48, or 72 hours. The hapless animal languishes for hours and even days, with some animals twisting off or chewing off their trapped limb to escape the vise grip of the trap.

More than 90 nations have outlawed the use of this barbaric device, and several states have followed suit. The American Veterinary Medical Association declared this device to be “inhumane,” as does the World Veterinary Organization.

The hypothesis that a PSA on steel-jawed leghold traps is part of an agenda to all hunting is without foundation and is little more than fear mongering. We work to curb the worst hunting abuses, and that's what has led us most recently to campaign vigorously against canned hunting, Internet hunting, and the use of steel-jawed leghold traps – practices that many rank-and-file hunters and The HSUS undoubtedly agree are abusive and unacceptable.

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

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