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My Life is Worth More Than the Fur on my Back

“My life is worth more than the fur on my back!”

I am writing today, especially to all my Montana friends, to encourage you to please support and vote YES on Montana ballot initiative I-177 on Election Day, to ban all commercial and recreational trapping on public lands in Montana. Even if you don’t live in Montana, you too can help (see below). Trapping is a barbaric and cruel practice that has no place in a civilized world. It causes unimaginable suffering for so many animals: bobcats, coyotes, wolves, foxes, beavers, pine martens, weasels, river otters, and many others. Animals are frequently left to languish in traps for days, dying a slow and painful death. It is not uncommon for an animal to chew off it’s own foot trying to escape. Modern-day trapping is not a necessity for anybody. It isn’t for food, it isn’t for warm clothing; It’s done in the sole name of greed and profit and, incomprehensibly, for “fun”. Trapping also represents a serious threat to some of the rarest wildlife populations on the continent, such as wolverine, fisher, and lynx. Additionally, it is extremely dangerous for the many people who recreate on public lands and their pets. In fact, numerous dogs have died and countless more severely maimed in traps in Montana in recent years.

Some lies and misconceptions about I-177:
-Trappers say that it will impede Montana’s ability to manage wildlife. FALSE: I-177 allows the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to use traps on public land when non-lethal methods of control have been ineffective and specifically exempts trapping for “scientific and wildlife management activities.”
-Trappers say that it will mean ranchers can’t protect their livestock. FALSE: I-177 applies ONLY to public lands, not ranchers’ private lands. In the case of public lands grazing, I-177 has an exemption for the use of traps by public employees and their agents to “protect public health and safety, livestock, and property”.
-Trappers have outrageously claimed that it will affect hunting. FALSE: I-177 applies ONLY to trapping and does not involve hunting in any way. In fact, many of I-177’s most vocal supporters are hunters themselves, some of whom have seen their bird dogs injured or killed in traps.

I-177 is a fair and balanced, common-sense approach that will end the suffering and wholesale slaughter of thousands of wild animals every year, protect the recreating public and their pets, and protect some of our rarest and most threatened wildlife species like wolverines, lynx, and fishers.

YOU CAN HELP END THE SUFFERING EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN MONTANA, by (1) Sharing this Post and (2) Considering a donation to Montanans for Trap-Free Public Lands

This little long-tailed weasel, in its beautiful white winter coat, cannot speak for himself. He needs your help and he needs your voice. If you don’t show up to vote for any other reason, please show up for this one. This little guy’s life is worth a few minutes of your time and it’s certainly worth far more than the $3-$5 his pelt would fetch in the current market. Again, to all my Montana friends, PLEASE VOTE YES ON I-177.

Thank you for sharing!

PHOTO:  Sam Parks – Wild Ecosystem Images

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