Sunday, November 29, 2009

Owl Caught in Leg Hold Trap

        An owl was found in Moodus last Wednesday with it's leg caught in a leg hold trap. Unfortunately, it has since been euthanized. Leg hold traps are designed to merely hold the leg of an animal and they have padded jaws. You can take your fingers, put it in the trap, set it off and it will hold your fingers. It will not break or crush them. These are the only traps legal to use in Connecticut. The trap I saw on the news was not a padded trap, was severely rusted, and to be honest, it didn't look like it would function properly. I know about these traps. I ran a trapline when I was in High School. Leg hold traps are a valuable wildlife management tool, used by DEP and wildlife professionals to control populations of animals and to capture and eliminate or relocate problem animals. I don't use them in my business, only because cage traps work much better in most situations I run across, plus they have that media generated "evil" associated with them. Apparently, from what I have learned, the trap this owl was caught in was baited (illegal), set on dry land (illegal), and did not have the owner's name on it (illegal). Will somebody please explain to me how banning a useful tool when used properly and legally is going to prevent someone from using one illegally? I guess the same way more gun control legislation will stop young drug dealers from shooting each other with guns they possess illegally.
        I find it extremely suspicious that for two years in a row now, an owl has gotten caught in a leghold trap, shortly before the State Legislature is scheduled to start it's session, and "Ban the leghold trap" legislation is always on the agenda. The people backing this legislation, particularly the Humane Society of the United States, are mostly Animal Rights organizations. But, Jon, the Humane Society runs shelters for animals and everything. No, they don't. They are a National Animal Rights group that does nothing but propagandize, and start law suits to stopping hunting and trapping, and urge people to become vegans, etc. Do a google search on Wayne Pacelle, who is their head guy and see what it says about him. They don't spend one penny on animal shelters or animal welfare. They have NO connection with local Humane Societies, which do help animals and do wonderful things to take care of abused animals, find homes for them, etc.
        I suggest that anyone who supports banning these traps, go do a little research on what happened in Massachusetts with their beaver problem after leghold traps were banned in that state. I could tell you, but I'll leave it up to you. It ain't pretty!

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