To the editor:
The public perception problem that Minnesota trappers are facing is of their own making (“Minnesota trappers fight public perception and dwindling participation,” Feb. 26 Echo Press). The gruesome pictures featured in that article are worth a thousand words of PR spin, and make it clear that trapping is a cruel pastime that has no place in modern society.
Most trapped animals are not killed for food, but rather to fuel the global fur trade. They die in steel-jaw leghold traps, which tear flesh, cut tendons and ligaments, and break bones and teeth as trapped animals bite – or even chew off their own limbs – in a desperate attempt to escape.
Body-crushing or “Conibear” traps may be designed to kill instantly by slamming down on an animal’s neck and chest, but they do so inconsistently and can cause unimaginable agony. And snare traps employ a wire or cable loop that tightens around an animal’s neck or body, causing suffocation and death.
Even if they survive these horrors, animals trapped for fur still face a violent death by drowning, stomping, shooting, or strangulation to avoid damaging the pelt. And because they are indiscriminate, traps also kill and mutilate Minnesota’s non-target wildlife, threatened and endangered species, and family pets.
Trapping is also not an effective method for “managing” wildlife populations, and the Centers for Disease Control, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization have found no evidence that trapping reduces incidences of rabies or other diseases. It’s also ineffective in addressing wildlife conflicts, which are better resolved by removing attractants and by wildlife-proofing places where we don’t want them to be. In 2018 Roseville, Minnesota acknowledged this and prohibited trapping within city limits.
Trapping participation is steadily declining, along with the Minnesota public’s tolerance for it. Time for it to end.
St. Paul, MN