SUPPORT: Hunting – Snares, Traps, and Other Similar Devices – Identification Requirement – SB 275/HB 406
This bill would require a person to obtain a free identification number from the Department of Natural Resources before using a snare, a trap, or another similar device to capture wildlife. It would also require a person who uses those devices to have specific information stamped on the device or on a metal tag affixed to the device.
Every year, millions of animals in the United States suffer a cruel and painful death after being caught in traps. Many of these unfortunate victims are not being trapped for food or to protect property but are instead being killed to support the global fur trade. Moreover, unintended victims are often household pets who suffer the terrible fate of being imprisoned in one of these trapping devices only to bleed or starve to death.
The trapping devices rely on the principle of restraining an animal. Steel-jaw leghold traps, also called foothold traps, are powered by strong springs that slam shut on an animal and exert excruciating force. Animals caught in leghold traps suffer from torn flesh, cut tendons and ligaments, and broken bones, and can further injure themselves, break teeth, and dislocate joints in their struggle to escape. Body-crushing, or Conibear, traps are designed to kill an animal when two rotating jaws close on each side of the animal’s neck or chest, crushing the body. While these traps may be intended to kill instantly, they do so inconsistently and can subject the animal to unimaginable suffering. Snares, or cable restraints, use a wire or cable loop that tightens around an animal and causes extreme suffering, asphyxia, and even death. Snares are designed to kill through strangulation, but the animal can suffer for hours or even days if the snare is incorrectly deployed or irregularly checked.
Many states have passed ballot measures banning or placing restrictions on trapping including Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington. In addition to the suffering of the animals and safety issues for people and pets, trapping has not been proven to be an effective method of population control as often animals reproduce in larger numbers to compensate. Moreover, there is no compelling evidence that traps are an effective or efficient way of controlling the spread of rabies.
This bill is an important step forward for the safety of animals, pets, and the public from harm caused by these dangerous trapping devices. Please contact your legislators and ask them to SUPPORT SB 275/HB 406!
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Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.