Let's make trapping reform a reality through 24-hour trap checks
Wyoming Untrapped is gearing up for more trapping reform in 2019. 24-hour trap checks are at the top of our list.
Friends, relatives and colleagues of Wyoming Untrapped: NOW is the time to Take Action!
Why 24-hour trap checks:
Currently, in Wyoming, traps need to be checked every 72-hours and snares can go as long as 13 days without being checked. Daily trap checks are common throughout the US with thirty-six states adopting a 24-hour or daily trap inspection requirement. Even Western states like Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado have these laws.
Scientific studies show that 24-hour trap checks help reduce the severity of injuries to captured animals. Long restraint time is associated with struggling, injury, dehydration, starvation, and exposure to the elements (cold, moisture, sun and heat, etc) These same injuries occur to non-target animals and with 24-hour trap checks there is an increased chance of not causing permanent damage or death to non-target captures in traps. Requiring traps to be checked more frequently would likely increase the chance for survival for these species if they can be released alive and less seriously injured.
Wildlife agencies support daily trap check inspections.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department even has a 24-hour trap check statement on their Hunter’s Education course online. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Trapper Education Manual urges trappers to “make a commitment to check your traps at least once every day” in order to reduce suffering, more quickly release on-target animals and actually improve the success of getting an intact animal in a trap.
Additional Focus on Trapping Reform
Furbearer trapping regulations in the coming year will be adjusted and updated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. WU is initiating a look ahead to the changes we will request for new trapping reform regulations. Please stay tuned as we work through the process to create a safe and humane environment on our public lands.
- Reporting of all species trapped
- Reporting of all non-target species trapped and/or killed, including pets
- Trap setbacks for heavily used public trails
- Trap-free areas for heavily used public recreation areas
- Required signage where traps are present
- Purchase of Conservation Stamp for all trappers
Survey of Trap Check Requirements in the United States - 2018
The number of states which have adopted:
24-hour or daily check requirements for at least some traps: 36
48-hour (or more frequent) check requirements for at least some traps): 44
72-hour (or more frequent) check requirements for at least some traps: 47
24-hour or daily check requirements for all traps: 16
48-hour (or more frequent) check requirements for all traps: 25
72-hour (or more frequent) check requirements for all traps: 30
Check requirements for all traps: 33
No general check requirements: 3
It is usually most effective to be persuasive, but not rude, sarcastic or angry. Speak from the heart of one who is more inclined to support our Legislators if and when doing what is best and right for all residents and visitors in Wyoming, now and into the future. Original words directly from your own heart and mind are more likely to be given consideration than words and phrases that sound scripted.
Why are frequent trap checks needed?
- 24-hour trap check times are common. Thirty-six states have adopted 24-hour or daily trap inspection requirements for at least some types of traps or trapping situations, including western states like, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and 32 others, require 24-hour trap checks in at least some trapping situations or for some trap types.
- Animals suffer because of lax trap check times. Wildlife and family pets frequently sustain severe injuries from being trapped, ranging from claw loss and deep flesh cuts to broken bones and tooth fractures, among many others. The type and severity of injury increases with the duration of time in the trap. Trapped animals also likely suffer from thirst, hunger, anxiety, fear, pain, and distress. Decreasing trap check times has the potential to reduce some of this animal suffering. Support legislation that protects public safety, wildlife, and family pets
- Lax trap check times put unintended victims at risk. Traps are indiscriminate. We don’t know how many non-target wildlife and family pets are captured by traps in Wyoming, since trappers aren’t required to report this information. We do know, however, that wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and dogs and cats, are at risk of needless and unjustifiable suffering and death because of infrequent trap checks. These animals have a better chance of surviving with frequent trap checks.
- Wildlife professionals support daily trap inspections. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Trapper Education Manual urges trappers to “make a commitment to check your traps at least once every day” in order to reduce suffering, more quickly release non-target animals, and actually improve success (by, for example, reducing the chance of predation on an animal caught in a trap). Likewise, in its online trapping course, AFWA treats daily trap checks as a cornerstone of ethical trapping practice, and consistently instructs trappers to perform them. Indeed, the National Trappers Association recognizes the significance of AFWA as one of the “largest international organizations representing professional wildlife conservation employees and governmental wildlife agencies.”
- Further, in its guidelines for the use of wild animals in research, the American Society of Mammalogists states that most traps should be checked at least once a day, and restraining traps like snares and foothold traps must be checked “twice daily or more often depending upon target species and potential for capture of non-target species.” The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes the use of conventional foothold traps and states that traps should be checked “at least once every 24 hours.”
- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recommends 24-hour trap checks on their online hunting education course.
- In sum, in order to minimize stress, struggling, exertion, injury, and unnecessary mortality to target and non-target species, we respectfully request that our Legislative leaders adopt a draft bill requiring that all restraining traps and snares set for all species in Wyoming be visually inspected at least once each day or every 24 hours.