Fur trapping is the only effective approach for wildlife management agencies across the nation to control the populations of animals that would not otherwise be managed. When uncontrolled, over-population leads to increased human-wildlife conflicts, increased prevalence of zoonotic diseases such as parvo, rabies, and distemper, increased threats to human health, and increased predatory pressure to livestock and wildlife including endangered species.
Foothold traps, often incorrectly referred to as leghold traps, are one of the most effective tools used to control furbearer populations across the world. These tools incorporate a number of technological advances, and over 600 trap types have been found humane, safe, selective, efficient, and practical by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ Furbearer Management and Best Management Practices for Trapping Program. In addition, these foothold traps are the same tools used by university researchers and wildlife biologists to capture and study the natural movement and ecology of numerous species. Despite these facts and the support of trapping by various professional wildlife management organizations such as The Wildlife Society and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, foothold traps are frequently vilified by false and emotional arguments without regard to science.
New York State Bill SO4459 is an act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of “leg-gripping” traps. If passed, this bill will greatly limit the ability of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to effectively manage wildlife populations throughout the state through regulated trapping.
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