Steel-Jaw Traps Are Alive and Mutilating

Published by PETA.

If you think cruel steel-jaw traps used to snare animals are a thing of the past, think again. Animal protection group Born Free USA just released the results of its undercover investigation of professional and recreational wildlife trapping in the U.S. The horrific video footage shows how animals trapped for their fur suffer, sometimes for days, before dying.

A bobcat is caught in a leghold trap in New Mexico.
© Born Free USA / Respect for Animals


The trapper kills the red fox by crushing the fox’s chest and lungs with his foot in Pennsylvania in January 2011. The fox is restrained by a catch pole. © Born Free USA / Respect for Animals


Collateral damage: A non-targeted skunk’s front leg is caught in a leghold trap in New Mexico.
© Born Free USA / Respect for Animals

The widely used steel-jaw traps crush animals’ limbs and are so painful that animals sometimes mutilate their own bodies in an attempt to free themselves. Another trap, the Conibear, crushes animals’ necks and chests, taking three to eight minutes to suffocate them. Animals caught in traps that are set underwater take up to nine agonizing minutes to drown. And the target animals aren’t the only ones who get caught in these traps. Born Free USA estimates that one in three victims are other animals, including many homeless or lost dogs and cats.

Born Free’s executive vice president, Adam Roberts, says, “Commercial fur trapping dates back to the 1600s and has hardly changed. It remains barbaric and most people are not even aware that this is going on in most of the U.S.” Even though more than 80 countries and some U.S. states have banned steel-jaw traps, they are still legal in most of the country. What are we waiting for?

The only way not to support the fur-trapping industry is to refuse to buy any item containing fur. Please sign PETA’s Pledge to Be Fur-Free today. And if you’ve ever even considered wearing animal fur, this video is for you.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind