85 countries have banned leg hold traps, and 9 states in our nation have either banned or restricted their use. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the National Animal Control Association, and the World Veterinary Organization all have declared leg hold traps "inhumane." VVSA is working to join the rest of the civilized world in putting an end to the use of leg hold traps and banning the use of dogs to hunt bear. Please scroll down to send an email to the representatives in the Senate and House Fish and Wildlife Committee telling them to support bill H.172. It can be as simple as that, or give your own testimony.
In Windsor, Vermont, Town Manager Tom Marsh allowed traps to be set to kill a family of beavers who had built a hut upstream from Paradise Park. This photo is of a young raccoon that was caught in a trap next to another trap that had caught its parent. In an attempt to escape, this baby chewed its own leg off.
One can only imagine the terror, excruciating pain, and helpless confusion that these two innocent creatures experienced before finally succumbing to a painful death.
We have put this photo bumper sticker to raise awareness about the horrors of trapping.
If you'd like a bumper sticker, please send a self addressed stamped envelope to:
PO Box 100
Bridgewater, VT 05034
Below is a sample email. Voicing your support can be as simple as copy and pasting the text below into a blank email and sending it to one of the representatives listed on the right. Please do what you can to get this bill passed. Every bit counts.
This video depicts the horrors of trapping. Please urge our representatives to support H.172. Only you can speak on their behalf.
Here is a letter one young teen wrote to Vermont Statehouse members.
I'm writing to you in regard to Bill H.172, which addresses the recreational leg hold trap usage and the use of dogs to hunt bears.
Simply put, leghold traps are inhumane. They inflict extreme suffering upon any animal unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp, which can range from the target prey to domestic pets. 85 other countries and 9 states have already banned these torturous traps. As my representative, I'm urging you to do the same and vote in favor of this bill. The animals who become ensnared in these traps die slowly and painfully, sometimes chewing off their limbs in an attempt to escape.
Do you know what sort of pain you would have to be in to decide that chewing off one of your limbs will aid your chances of survival?
I doubt you do. I don't either. I've never been in that position. But that is the reality of some of the animals who die because of these traps. Their survival instincts, which previously served to protect them from harm, are now pushing them to mutilate themselves because that is their surest shot at freedom. So, they may chew through their own fur, skin, muscle, and bones to try and obtain their freedom. And even so, these animals may still die due to weakness, infection, or other wounds obtained when the trap closed on them.
Think about how much terror and pain you would need to be in for that to be your course of action. Think about how much you'd have to suffer to begin biting and clawing through one of your limbs.
These animals cannot speak up for themselves. So as a person who cares deeply for my animal companions, I'm taking this opportunity to write to you and use my voice. I'm 16 years old and I've loved animals since I was born. I feel sick to my stomach when I see pictures of animals who've died in these traps. They die alone, in agony, and it breaks my heart.
So, I pose a question to you, that another senator also raised. How much do animals have to suffer at the hands of "recreational" use of these traps before something gets done? At what point do we take action?
And why can't that point be now? What's standing in the way of passing this bill and outlawing leghold traps and the use of dogs to hunt bears?
I would appreciate it if you'd write back and let me know your thoughts and plan of action.
This is current legislation being voted on in the Vermont Statehouse. It is important that this bill is passed to end the inhumane suffering that victims of leg hold traps face. Please help this bill get passed! The emails for the representatives are below, and a sample email that can be used is on the left.