Quotes > Trapping

Former trappers speak out on the cruel and barbaric practices they have witnessed over the years:

The trapper approached, a five foot … club in hand. The coyote struggled frantically against the trap, pulling one leg loose and leaving the lifeless paw in the trap. The trapper poked at the coyote. The animal hissed and snapped at the club. Then, as the trapper slowly swished the club back and forth, the coyote became unusually calm. Mesmerised by steady motion, he crouched motionless, his eyes dutifully following the swishing club. Suddenly the club smashed across the coyote's nose and slammed him to the ground. But the blow was not delivered with precision. Almost instantly he was in a semi crouch; blood spurting from his nose, eyes dazed, again the club fell. The trapper … grabbed the stunned coyote by the hind legs, stretching the animal full length while planting his foot heavily on its neck.

The other foot delivered a series of thumping blows to the coyote's chest, expelling hollow gasps of air. Releasing the hind legs, the trapper rested one foot on the coyote's neck, the other on the chest. The coyote's eyes bulged, the mouth gaped, the tongue hung listlessly along the bloodstained jaw. Periodically stomping near the heart, the trapper maintained his position for 14 minutes. He indicated this was necessary to ensure that the animal was dead. … I thought how ridiculous it was for a 200 pound man to be stomping on an 18 pound coyote as if his very existence depended on the animal's elimination. The coyote, had he been given the opportunity, would not have sought revenge. He would have tried to escape.
Daniel Kelly, wildlife researcher at Turnbull National Wildlife refuge, Washington.

You had a club and bashed the animal's head. It's cruel, it's horrible. People think it's romantic, but it's not. If people who wear fur coats ever saw their dog in a trap like that, they'd never wear fur again.
Raven Wilson, native Canadian and former trapper.

Reflecting on having seen a squirrel caught in a trap:

The entire episode of the squirrel and the trap could not have lasted more than five minutes. Yet that brief moment in time had an impact on me like being hit by a truck. I thought of all those animals I'd trapped in my younger days; all those lives I'd so thoughtlessly snuffed out for a few, lousy dollars. They had meant so little to me then. As if I'd somehow determined that since they were smaller than I or non-human, their lives were worth less than my own simple wants and wishes. ? 'How can we love life so', I thought to myself, 'and yet treat other living things so badly? Why is it so difficult to comprehend that an ever-so-common creature, like the little, furry gray squirrel, just might enjoy and appreciate living as much as I?' I thought about that for a long time.
Thomas Eveland, professional wildlife ecologist and former trapper. 'Jaws of Steel', Thomas Eveland, Fund for Animals 1991. P69-70



It is highly recommended that the animal be struck two times, once to render it unconscious and again to render it either dead or comatose. To ensure death pin the head with one foot and stand on the chest (area near the heart) of the animal with the other foot for several minutes. Never attempt to stand on a conscious animal, and do not step off an unconscious animal until it is dead. To be sure the furbearer is dead, touch the eye or mouth of the animal with the striking tool and watch for any reaction. If there is no reaction and then if you do not detect any breathing or heart beats, the animal can be assumed dead."
Quote from book 'Get Set to Trap' by California Dept of Fish and Game. 'Jaws of Steel', Thomas Eveland, Fund for Animals 1991. P82

I know of no sight more sorrowful than that of these unoffending animals as they are seen in the torture grip of these traps. They sit drawn up into a little heap, as if collecting all their force of endurance to support agony; some sit in a half torpid state induced by intense suffering. ? as you approach [they] start up, struggle violently to escape, and shriek pitiably, from terror and as the pangs occasioned by their struggles.
Charles Darwin, 1863, quoting a person who had observed many trapped animals.

Darwin added:

I It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the suffering thus endured from fear, from acute pain, maddened by thirst, and by vain attempts to escape."

The trapping of wild animals for their pelts is impossible to justify in terms of conservation or animal welfare.
Dr Nigel Dunstone, mink scientist, Durham University. Biologist (1986) 33 (2) p75