Reining in unsafe, inhumane trapping

September 21, 2016

Dear Friends, 

Protecting and enhancing animal welfare is one of my top priorities in Congress. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I work to advance policies and initiatives that benefit our fellow creatures. That is why I recently introduced legislation to severely limit the use of inhumane body-gripping traps. 

Body-gripping traps are used by agencies, companies, and individuals across the country to trap creatures for their fur, to keep animals away from livestock and crops, and to catch them for recreational purposes. Despite the availability of effective non-lethal techniques, thousands of body-gripping traps are set on public lands each year and are also used by federal agencies – like the notoriously enigmatic Wildlife Services, responsible for killing millions of wild animals per year – on behalf of private citizens or companies. As captured animals try to free themselves from the jaws of these traps, they can suffer excruciating pain for hours or even days, before they eventually die from dehydration, injuries, predators, or when the trapper eventually finds them. Pets and wild animals alike fall victim to these cruel devices, and panicked animals can cause harm to humans who try to free them. 

My legislation, the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping for Public Safety Act, will crack down on the use of such body-gripping traps on certain public lands and by federal agencies like Wildlife Services and their contractors. Allowing some limited exceptions to protect endangered species and control invasive species, the bill requires use of non-lethal methods first, and mandates transparency and documentation of these efforts. The federal government should not and cannot continue to endorse the widespread use of these inhumane devices. My bill is a strong step towards ending their use. 


Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress