|Animal Defenders of Westchester||
We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.
Animal Defenders of Westchester
Articles Fur and Trapping
Fur and Trapping
Using animals for fashion cheapens life—including our own. Synthetic fabrics, both warmer and lighter than fur, have eliminated the need to kill animals for their fur. Yet each year more than 40 million animals are killed for their fur: minks, foxes, bobcats, beavers, raccoons, sables, lynx, chinchillas—the list goes on and on. Each piece of fur trim represents an animal who suffered and died; a full coat represents many animals. There is no reason to kill animals for fashion, and many reasons not to.
Supporters portray fur "farms" or "ranches" as humane environments, but in fact, these facilities are little more than a series of small wire cages in an open shed. Animals suffer extreme confinement and poor housing conditions. Many of them exhibit behavioral disorders such as constant pacing, self-mutilation, and infanticide. Many suffer physical abnormalities as a result of inbreeding. They suffer as they die, too: neck breaking, gassing, and anal electrocution are the most common methods of killing animals raised for fur.
Trapping is well known for the suffering it causes—torn flesh and tendons, broken bones, dislocated joints, crushed pelvises, swelling, and blood loss. Traps and snares, especially the archaic steel-jaw leghold trap, have been so maligned in the United States that many believe they have been banned. While both the number of active trappers and the number of animals who fall victim to these inhumane devices have declined, the leghold trap remains the most commonly used trap in the United States, despite a reported 74% of Americans who want the trap banned (Caravan Opinion Research Corporation, October 1996).
Strides have been made to eliminate the use of cruel and indiscriminate traps in the United States, with eight states (Washington, California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, Florida, and Rhode Island) now banning their use. And the notion of trapping as an essential wildlife management tool is being dismissed with the success of these bans. The public has accepted trapping as an anachronism that should be relegated to the history books.
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