For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Burlington, Vt. – Ahead of International Beaver Day (April 7), PETA sent a letter this morning to Champlain College President Alex Hernandez, appealing to him to slap a fur ban on campus so as to protect beavers just like the school’s own beloved mascot, Chauncey.
PETA points out that tens of thousands of beavers are killed every year and that, as Champlain College itself points out, they were once on the verge of extinction in North America due to hunting for their pelts. With a ban, the school could help protect beavers and other animals still trapped and killed for their fur, joining Kingston University in London and the many cities that are also implementing or considering fur bans, and further the college’s mission to advance society and encourage students to help create a better world for all.
“Beavers are caught in steel-jaw traps, which clamp down with bone-breaking force, causing excruciating pain and a slow death,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Please help end cruelty to beavers by informing students and staff members about the threats these animals face and by establishing a fur-free campus.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Hernandez follows.
April 5, 2023
Dear President Hernandez:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many thousands across Vermont—ahead of International Beaver Day on Friday, April 7, with a dam good request that would help protect beavers like Champlain’s beloved mascot, Chauncey: Will you please ban fur on campus? This step would not only further the college’s mission to advance society and encourage students to help create a better world for all but also help protect beavers and other animals who are trapped and killed for their fur.
As you likely already know, beavers are intelligent and resourceful animals. They’re well gnawn for building dams to create ponds that offer refuge from predators and space for food storage. They also construct lodges that provide shelter and a safe place to raise their young. They’re great swimmers, and their fur is naturally oily and waterproof, which helps them keep dry and warm, even when submerged for a very long time. They’re also among the few animals who can alter their surroundings to produce a suitable home. The dams they make generate wetlands, which are vital ecosystems for many species.
Tens of thousands of beavers are killed every year, often in response to their natural dam-building efforts or so they can be used for their fur. Champlain College even points out that beavers were once nearly extinct in North America due to hunting. To trap beavers, humans often use steel-jaw traps, which clamp together with bone-breaking force, causing excruciating pain. Beavers are also often strangled in neck snares and crushed in body-gripping traps, which are barbaric devices with metal bars designed to slam shut on an animal’s body. Some traps are designed to hold beavers underwater until they drown. But since they’re used to holding their breath while they dive for long periods, death by drowning is a slow, agonizing process for them.
Please help end cruelty to beavers by informing students and staff members about the threats these animals face and by establishing a fur-free campus. Many U.S. cities have already implemented bans on fur sales, and various institutions of higher learning are considering fur bans. Your efforts to help animals would beavery impactful. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing that Champlain will be a leader on this important issue.
Very truly yours,