Ban Leghold Traps in Maryland

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    Maryland Legislators & Governor
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    Anti-Fur Society
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Our group is working to convince the Maryland legislators to ban the use of steel leghold animal traps in that their use inflicts horrible pain on the trapped animals. Read about this issue below. Please sign our online petition for MARYLAND. Note that you must indicate your county in Maryland in order to have greater impact on the legislators. Thank you for your compassion!

Steel leg hold traps cause animals to die desperate, agonizing deaths.

If you are unfamiliar with the horrors of leghold traps, visit http:/

Traps are placed where animals travel frequently, along creek beds, for instance or in trees. Sometimes the trap locations are baited with urine or sex gland scents that lure the animal to a certain trap.

The animal is surprised, painfully gripped and restrained alive. Not infrequently, the animal is clamped on a part of the body that is excruciatingly painful, such as on an eye, the muzzle, or the abdomen.

In an agony of pain and confusion, the animal struggles in frenzy, often mutilating themselves, dislocating joints, breaking their teeth, chewing their leg or paw in an attempt to break free. If they succeed, the traumatized animal has scant hope for survival in the wild; death will come surely by infection, by starvation or by the animals being an easy prey to their predators. Trappers have a name for the phenomenon of animals chewing off their own extremities to escape; they call it "wring-off". To the trapper, it means they have lost a pelt.

For the animal unable to break free, death is no kinder. Exhaustion and unconsciousness are the kindest possibilities, but there are other, grimmer modes of death in the trap. In some jurisdictions the laws pertaining to checking the traps vary from once every 24 hours to once every five days - and such laws are really unenforceable. An animal who does not die quickly is faced with excruciating pain and a desperately panic-filled wait.

What's Happening in Maryland

During the 2003 General Assembly session, the issue of banning leghold traps was studied. The proposal was rejected. Among other things, the study noted that there are about 1,200 licensed trappers in Maryland. A ban would result in them not buying licenses ($24.50) thus costing the state $8,300 annually. Outrageous! Further, the study states that a leghold trap ban "...could also affect the small businesses that buy fur from trappers and sell it to garment manufacturers." That is precisely what we want to accomplish.

If you wish to read a full transcript of study, send an email to [email protected]