Oppose Snaring

Facts Sleuthed by Joe Miele

The necropsy study uncovered the fact that one-third of the animals had suffered slow, agonizing deaths

The following facts offer us pretty damning info on snaring. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is one of the sources, so it’s definitely not coming from an animal rights slant – http://tinyurl.com/6oqlv79

Beavers who are snared are often drowned.  Confirmation that this type of trapping is inhumane comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association, which on page 35 of its publication “Guidelines on Euthanasia” condemns drowning as being inhumane.  In addition to drowning, trappers will commonly kill animals with a blow to the head – a method the AVMA describes as being an unacceptable way to kill animals of most species.

Lynn Rogers, a wildlife research biologist with 35 years experience working in government, academia, and private nonprofit organizations reports:

“All snares share the same failing—they restrict the flow of blood back to the heart through surface veins while the deeper arteries continue to pump blood into the foot or head.  The result is painful swelling.  I quit using snares 30 some years ago.”

  • “Another problem is that so many non-target animals are snared.  The man who was neck-snaring wolves caught everything from bears to deer to a moose that stepped into the snare.”
  • “Another problem is that Maine law allows snared animals to suffer so long in the snares.  Before I quit snaring, I could see that it was necessary to check the snares two or three times a day to minimize injury.  Allowing an animal to suffer for days under a state-sanctioned recreational practice is extremely inhumane.  On top of that is a possible problem of these cheap devices being abandoned in the woods similar to gill nets being abandoned in the Great Lakes or the ocean.”
  • “I find it just unbelievable that any state would condone recreational snaring with all that is known about modern wildlife management.”

Biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife repeatedly observe that killing coyotes stimulates reproduction and that in order to lower a population you have to kill at least 70 percent of the animals every year.

Chuck Hulsey, one of Maine’s seven regional wildlife biologists recently wrote to his bureau director: “Killing an animal by strangling it with a wire loop often results in a slow, painful death, sometimes lasting days …” and “It would violate state humane laws to treat a domestic dog in the same manner.”

Last fall Wally Jakubas, the agency’s top mammal scientist, got concerned when, checking 94 snared coyotes during a study to determine the genetics of animals, he noticed a large proportion of carcasses with grotesquely swollen heads, bullet holes, fractured limbs, and broken teeth. Of particular interest were the animals with swollen heads-”jellyheads,” the snarers call them. When the snare doesn’t close sufficiently, it constricts the jugular vein on the outside of the neck, cutting off blood returning to the heart; meanwhile, the carotid artery keeps pumping blood into the brain, eventually rupturing its vascular system. In a memo to his supervisor, Jakubas wrote: “I think it is also safe to say that [this] is an unpleasant death. Anyone who has had a migraine knows what it feels like to have swollen blood vessels in the head. To have blood vessels burst because of pressure must be excruciating.” Almost a third of the animals Jakubas looked at were “jellyheads.” Almost another third had been clubbed or shot, indicating that, contrary to department claims, the snares hadn’t killed them quickly. Coyote-control agents have to check their snares only every three days, and under the liberalized regs suggested by the legislature, they can get permission to check them only every seven days.

The department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife organized an ad hoc “study group” to make recommendations for new snaring regs, but ignored a lot of advice from its own biologists who had expressed concern for the nontarget wildlife that have been found dead in coyote snares – eagles, deer, moose, bears, fishers, foxes, bobcats, and especially Canada lynx, now federally threatened.

Whenever the public expresses concern about the threat to lynx, the department responds that no snarer has reported killing a lynx since the species was listed. Of course no snarer has reported killing a lynx: Such a confession could elicit prosecution under the Endangered Species Act!


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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561