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Wild Watch Decries Inhumane Trapping

NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE
10/31/07

Fur trapping season is underway in New York and wildlife is being subjected to treatment so inhumane that if the same thing were to be done intentionally to domestic cats or dogs, the trapper would be facing felony animal cruelty charges, Joe Miele of New Paltz, vice president of Wild Watch Inc. says.

Trapping in New York is a largely unregulated activity. During trapping season there is no limit to the number of beavers, bobcats, coyotes, fishers, gray foxes, minks, muskrats, opossums, otters, raccoons, red foxes, skunks, and weasels that a trapper can kill.

In many areas of the state, a trapper may leave an animal trapped and unattended for up to 48 hours, during which time the animal has no shelter from the elements and no way to protect themselves against attacking predators. The DEC caters to the tiny number of licensed trappers (trappers number less than one-tenth of one-percent of the state’s population) despite the dangers inherent in recreational trapping because the DEC is funded in part through the sale of trapping licenses and the excise taxes affixed to the cost of traps and trapping-related equipment, Miele says.

“Since those who participate in wildlife watching activities outnumber trappers by more than 282 to one, the DEC should enhance wildlife watching programs which support local economies far more than its violent and harmful trapping programs that do little more than bring suffering upon the state’s native wildlife”. Miele says. “We urge the DEC and the Bureau of Wildlife to abandon their stone-age recreational trapping seasons and in their place nurture the potential in wildlife watching programs which can build a shift in the paradigm toward the protection, respect and admiration of wildlife and their habitat”.

To learn what you can do to help, please contact Wildlife Watch at www.wildwatch.org

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