Born Free USA has launched a new campaign, #TrapFreeTrails, to call for an end to the barbaric practice of trapping animals on public lands, including national wildlife refuges, national parks, and natural preserves.
The National Wildlife Refuge System was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 and now encompasses 567 refuges, as well as 38 wetlands management districts. Together, they include 95 million acres of land. Within the system, more than 296 threatened and endangered species are conserved across 356 of the individual refuges.
According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Wildlife Refuge System was established “to conserve America’s wild animals and plants,” and to “provide enjoyment and beauty” to the millions of people who visit these lands each year. With more than 2,500 miles of land and water trails, these refuges are popular destinations for walkers, many of whom are accompanied by companion animals.
Yet, despite this, animal trapping is permitted on 216 of the refuges, a total of 11.1 million acres of public land.
As previously reported by WAN, traps are indiscriminate. While meant to trap specific species, which is unacceptable on its own, companion animals and humans also fall victim to them.
“By their very design, body-gripping traps are cruel, dangerous, and indiscriminate,” Angela Grimes, CEO of Born Free USA, said in a statement. “Their brutality cannot be overstated.”
Once in a trap, animals suffer in agony for hours or even days. In addition to the excruciating pain inflicted by the trap, trapped animals are also exposed to extreme stress, environmental elements, dehydration, starvation, and predation, with no chance of relief or escape.
“‘Refuge should mean just that; that both animals and people are safe from harm while within their boundaries. Clearly, this is not currently the case and it is past time that this cruel practice comes to an end. Furthermore, the fact that this activity is carried out on public lands, whose maintenance relies on taxpayer dollars, adds insult to injury,” concluded Grimes.
Sign Born Free USA’s petition to the U.S. Department of the Interior demanding an end to the use of traps on all public lands, HERE!