Trappers' myth

Post date: Mar 29, 2012 12:05:05 AM

Check out this video from the National Trappers Association; "Destroying the Myth."

As usual for the trapping industry, it tries to shift the focus away from the problems of recreational fur trapping to something else; to make recreational fur trapping look like something other than what it is. It tries to paint a picture of trapper/scientists who use leg-hold traps to capture, study, treat, relocate, and/or release wildlife--including foxes and raccoons.

How often do you think a trapper in real life treats or relocates a fox or raccoon? Not often. The animals are killed and skinned, and their pelts are sold for cash.

The video shows a series of foxes that were caught in foothold traps, and then released, without anything done to "study, treat, or relocate" them. One of the trappers says about one of the foxes: "Not hurt or anything else; the trap don't hurt 'em." He rubs its paw as if that's what he's doing to "study or treat" it, and then sends it running. Apparently, that was the only point in trapping it: to show how it could be trapped and still able to run away without obvious signs of injury.

The video says it's trying to "destroy a myth," but what it's really doing is trying to perpetuate one. Trying and failing. The truth is that foothold traps injure the animals that are caught in them. The truth is that most animals that are caught in foothold traps are killed, skinned, and their pelts sold for cash. The myth is the one the trappers are trying to tell in the video.

Goldie with her injured paw in salve, gauze, and a boot.

Our dog Goldie got an injury last year that might have been caused by a foothold trap. She didn't show a limp until the next day (or later). As her injury healed, we saw that it was on the top and bottom of her paw, like the kind of injury a foothold trap might cause. We treated her paw with antibiotic ointment and bandaging for three weeks. "Trap don't hurt 'em"? The fact is that a trapper can't tell if an animal was injured by a trap unless he follows-up with the animal a few days later, examines the injured paw, and watches the animal's natural movements (or lack thereof). There wasn't any such follow-up shown in this "feel-good" video from the National Trappers Association, and there's probably very little in real-life trapping. The truth is that many of the animals that are trapped and released have to deal with injuries--in their own, natural world, where there are no antibiotics or bandages.