New Research by Born Free USA Calls for End to Trapping as Crushing Cruelty is Uncovered

April 6, 2021 7:00 AM EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading animal welfare nonprofit Born Free USA has today launched a comprehensive report on animal trapping in the United States, amending and updating work carried out in 2017 and providing each state with a score out of 100 based on its action to protect animals from cruel trapping. Only two states scored above 50/100, and almost half of the states scored just 25/100 or under. The findings present a sobering insight into this practice, which causes suffering and death to millions of animals each year. In addition to inadequate regulation, Born Free found traps, including those that are illegal to use in all 50 states, to be widely available for sale without restriction on online e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. The organization is calling for a ban on such sales, and a complete regulatory overhaul of trapping nationwide — including an immediate end to trapping on public lands — and for plans to be implemented to move towards generalized prohibition of trapping across the nation.

Said Born Free USA's Programs Director, Dr. Liz Tyson:

"Trapping methods have barely changed in over 400 years, with the same archaic contraptions that were used to decimate wild animal populations during the time of European settlement of the U.S. still being used today to maim and kill animals. In more than 100 countries around the world, barbaric leghold traps have been banned – the U.S. is not one of those countries, and that has to change. The U.S. prides itself on its progressive and science-based approach to animal welfare and yet is lagging behind other nations in allowing this crushing cruelty to continue."

In addition to scoring each state's position on trapping, the report explores the extent of trapping and the content of educational courses mandated by some states for would-be trappers ahead of licenses being granted. Worryingly, the report reveals that multiple states promoted the cruel drowning of animals to death as "humane" as part of their formal education courses, despite it being specifically stated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that drowning is categorically inhumane. In addition, commercially available trapping guides documented the accidental trapping of companion animals as well as providing advice on killing animals caught in traps, including suggestions that using wooden clubs to beat trapped animals to death is standard practice.

The litany of concerns highlighted in the new research confirm that there is significant work to be done to protect animals — both the intended targets and unintentional victims — from trapping but Born Free USA believes that change is possible. It has highlighted recommendations for each individual state and developed associated actions that supporters can take to encourage change in their capacity as both constituents and consumers.

Tyson continued:

"Ending trapping in the U.S. is not something that will happen overnight, but we believe that our work has created a clear roadmap for change, which those who would like to join us in our efforts can support. The prohibition of trapping on public land is an essential first step, followed by moves to follow in the footsteps of states such as California and Hawaii, which have banned trapping for recreational and commercial purposes. Eventually, we would like to see body-gripping traps of all kinds outlawed across the country. They are cruel, they are indiscriminate, they are dangerous. There is no excuse for trapping to continue in 2021."

The report, Crushing Cruelty: Animal Trapping in the Unites States, and the associated state report cards are available for download at:

About Born Free USABorn Free USA works to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. We oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong—in the wild. Born Free USA's Primate Sanctuary is the largest in the United States and provides a permanent home for approximately 400 primates rehomed from laboratories or rescued from zoos and private ownership. We're social:,,,

MEDIA CONTACT: Heather RipleyOrange Orchard(865)

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