Trap Free Montana

A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization

Connect people's heart and mind through science, truths in trapping, & compassion for wildlife, biodiversity, coexistence, & responsible stewardship.

Trap Research and Findings

Literature Review on the Welfare Implications of Leghold Trap Use in Conservation and Research by American Veterinary Medical Association (PDF)

image of coyote with paw in a trapped, which is bloodied

Reproduced under Fair Use for educational purposes

Wolf Trapping Study
June 14, 2016

 "Wolves were captured, euthanized, and examined during normal depredation activities in Minnesota, United States, between April and October, with almost all captures occurring when temperatures were above freezing. The trap investigated was a Livestock Protection Company #4, with smooth, offset jaws. Images wolf trap Wolf Trapping Study[Note: only results for the control traps without tranquilizers are here summarized. We limited our summary to the control traps because this review is focused on trapping methods used by the public. Because tranquilizers are unavailable to the general public, we omitted the results from traps equipped with tranquilizer devices.] Eighteen percent of wolves captured had dental injuries rated as “moderate” to severe,” and the rest were described as uninjured to having “mild” injuries. Serious leg injuries were relatively common; however, compared with different trap types tested in other studies, 63 percent were scored as having moderate to severe damage including major cutaneous lacerations, tendon damage, and fractures including some to the radius or ulna."

Sahr, D.P., and Knowlton, F.F., 2000, Evaluation of tranquilizer trap devices (TTDs) for foothold traps used to capture gray wolves: Wildlife Society Bulletin, v. 28, p. 597-605.

Capture Myopathy

Science contradicts the alleged un-harming of trapped animals and the proclamation of them being released "uninjured".

"Capture myopathy can occur naturally when prey animals are attempting to avoid predation, but it is usually caused by humans. This is because animals are adapted to escape from predators, but are not adapted to struggle for long periods of time in man-made restraints, aka traps and snares. Capture myopathy occurs when animals overexert themselves (struggling in a trap for example) so much that physiological imbalances develop and result in severe muscle damage.

Capture myopathy may result in sudden death, or clinical signs may develop hours, days, or up to two months following capture." This is how trapping methods to help animals, i.e. relocate, reintroduce, differs from recreational, commercial and trapping methods whose purpose is to kill. The former involves frequent and sometimes constant trap monitoring.

We have no required trap check time interval in Montana, except for wolves are permitted to linger in traps for no more than 48 hours. Some animals suffer trapped for days, weeks, even a month, legally.

Based on FWP reports, an average of at least 60,000 wildlife are trapped and killed in Montana annually. If we consider the collateral damage and those claimed released "uninjured" what is the real toll trapping takes on wildlife?

Wolf culls ensnared in ethical debate
Mar. 11, 2016  - The Globe and Mail (Mark Hume)

Wildlife research for a quick "humane" death from snares finds just the opposite occurs!  A retired predator-control expert says animals in snares take hours or even days to die.  “There is just a multitude of things that interfere with getting the perfect catch."

Reveal's Tom Knudson tests a leghold trap

"Truth is, traps are designed to restrain an animal without injury, in the same way handcuffs were designed to restrain humans." Montana Trappers Association

Can you imagine if cops used these devices to restrain humans?

Just how powerful are the grisly steel-jaw traps behind America's booming fur industry? Reveal reporter Tom Knudson demonstrates.




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