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Decrease in Fur Prices Leads to Increased Beaver Trapping in N.H.

As fur prices continue to fall, one state is seeing an increase in beaver populations as fewer people are trapping for money.  Rather than employ innovative ways to deal with their new neighbors, citizens in New Hampshire are turning to hiring trappers to kill the beavers.

“Anton Kaska [a hired trapper] unfolds a beaver trap and wedges it into the swampy ground in a marsh in a Bedford neighborhood. It’s designed to catch the beaver around the shoulders and neck.”

““So it squeezes the air out of the lungs, and then holds the throat tight. So it suffocates them really quickly,” he says.”

Unfortunately citizens don’t often see this part of the process of trapping.  Often times, the Conibear traps that he is referring to don’t kill the beaver quickly enough therefore resulting in extended pain and suffering of the animal before it is eventually killed.

“Conservation is conservation, if done correctly,” says Pamela Michael, board member of Voices of Wildlife in New Hampshire. “Trapping is not done correctly.” She and her colleagues are trying to come up with ways to pass a state-wide trapping ban.”

“If you look at your pets in your house, these wild animals have the same nervous systems, the same intelligence level as the pets in your house. So cruelty to an animal is cruelty to an animal,” she says.”

“Michael says there are more humane ways of managing wildlife than fur trapping. She says you could move the beavers, or re-route the water with something called a “beaver flow device.”

Successfully coexisting with beavers and other wild neighbors will take education and a change in culture.  Thankfully there are many organizations out there who are fighting hard to change our culture from one of intolerance to one of coexistence.

Full story here.

Photo: New Hampshire Public Radio and Cordelia Zars.

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