trapsThousands of wild animals are targeted by trappers each year in New York State. Accidental victims of the traps are not only wildlife species, including birds, but also animals such as dogs and cats. Trapping is often hidden from the public and many people are not aware of the realities and dangers.


According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA (a national animal advocacy nonprofit organization) and the Born Free Foundation: "Traps are dangerous and nonselective. We have seen time and time again what happens when people set these traps for wild animals: they catch, maim, torture and kill not only wild animals like coyotes, fox, raccoons and mink, but also domestic animals -- people’s companions, their beloved dogs and cats. Trapping is truly indiscriminate and barbaric. I continue to be mystified as to how America allows this to happen."

Animal Advocates of WNY and Born Free USA joined forces on a billboard campaign to educate the public about the issue of trapping. Included on the billboards is a link to a BornFreeUSA web page where people can see for themselves why trapping should be banned. Images of two of our anti-trapping billboards are below, and if you click on them you will be taken to the BornFreeUSA web page.


In an effort to convince non-trappers that animals don’t suffer in traps, trappers have been known to snap a trap on their own hand.  A trap’s jaws have to slam tight onto an animal’s body part or the animal will get free. The trapper gets to remove the trap from his/her hand when he/she so desires but a trapped animal doesn’t have that luxury. The trapped animal can struggle for many hours before the trapper finally arrives to kill the victim.

Wildlife experts have stated that the most damage is done to animals caught in traps when they struggle to get free. Studies have revealed broken teeth in the stomachs of foxes. Animals bite at the metal traps not only breaking teeth but sometimes actually chewing off their own feet. Legs and feet have been injured as trapped animals try to escape. The issue of "wring-off" (animals chewing off their own feet) is even mentioned in the state’s trapping manual used to educate future trappers.


A statement released by Empire Animal Rescue Society (EARS) was included in a Salamanca Press article: "The use of these traps is inhumane and indiscriminate, catching any animal who steps into them...We are shocked that someone would use such a dangerous device in a city neighborhood, and we worry that it was in a place where children could be hurt by it, too.”


Trappers also have said they need to trap to control disease in wildlife.

There are expert testimonies that refute the "disease" excuse for trapping. Gary Suhowatsky, a research analyst employed by the NYS Department of Health, testified before the NYS Assembly Subcommittee on Wildlife (3/16/77): THE TRAPPING EFFECT IN THE PERPETUATION OF WILDLIFE DISEASE. As part of Suhowatsky's testimony, he stated: "... there is not only no evidence to support the claim that trapping reduces the incidence of contagious diseases in wildlife but... in fact, the reverse is true -- and that is, that trapping selectively harvests the healthiest and most mobile specimens in the population and leaves behind the most sickly and sedentary members to perpetuate the spread of, and elevate the incidence in, the diseases in wildlife populations."

anti-trapping billboard 2

Trappers also like to take credit for controlling the populations of animals such as coyotes.

Studies have repeatedly shown that when coyote populations are disrupted by hunting and trapping, they respond with higher birth rates; i.e., populations actually increase. Where coyotes have been removed by something like trapping and coyote-killing contests, other coyotes will move into the favorable habitat.


The bottom line is: Trapping is wrong, and we have the facts to prove it!  Also, please don't wear fur coats or coats with fur trim.  There are many alternatives for keeping yourself warm during the winter that are not a result of animals being senselessly trapped and killed. 


Links and Ways That You Can Help

Trapping and Fur Trade: Cruel and Unnecessary  (Born Free USA)

Take Action - Trapping & Fur Trade (Born Free USA)

Just Say NO To Trapping (

"Victims of Vanity: Trapping Investigation Footage"   (video on YouTube)

Fur-Free Retailers, Designers and Brands (Humane Society of the United States)


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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