Letter: Trapping is cruel, ineffective, and indiscriminate in that family pets will get caught in them

Letter submitted from Sherry Wernicke, Aug 21, 2017

Many thanks to State Representative Fred Camillo, a dedicated animal advocate, who proposed a bill this year to allow municipalities to ban trapping, a practice that has no place in a civilized society.

Currently, only one town in Connecticut, Westport, is statutorily empowered to ban hunting and trapping and Westport has successfully banned both.

Sadly, this good bill did not have a public hearing and many speculate that it was the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) who killed it.

DEEP has a controversial history of promoting lethal methods of handling conflicts with wildlife when non-lethal, sustainable solutions exist that are less expensive, as effective, and certainly less cruel to implement.

DEEP is currently working vigorously behind the scenes to reverse Westport’s longstanding ban on trapping and it must be questioned if this is in response to Rep. Camillo’s bill.

The problem with trapping is that it is cruel, ineffective, and indiscriminate in that family pets will get caught in them.

Don’t let anyone tell you padded leghold traps are any less cruel. Being caught in a leghold trap has to be one of the most terrifying, painful, and horrific ways to make an animal suffer and all needlessly.

Fortunately, the science-based solutions are simple and far more cost-effective. Solutions include removing outside attractants like garbage and pet food and hazing, such as waving your arms and making noise like a whistle. Hazing effectively trains coyotes to stay away.

It’s also vital for pet owners to make sure that their dogs and cats are in a safe situation; supervised, leashed, fenced-in yards, and cats kept indoors. When walking, you also need to be aware of your surroundings.

But, foremost, trapping detracts attention from solutions that work and is the wrong tool for the job. It is simply ineffective and often makes the problem and desired result of controlling population size worse.

It exacerbates populations by disrupting pack populations, encouraging other pairs to mate and leading to even more reproduction.

DEEP needs to implement science-based policies that reflect the public’s demand for humane treatment of animals and voters need to vote in lawmakers who force DEEP to stop pandering to trappers and hunters, a very small minority in our state.

Sherry Wernicke
Greenwich, CT

See also:

‘Coyote Safety Kits’ for Greenwich Residents Available on a Case by Case Basis