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Letter: Trapping on public land puts people, pets at risk

Trapping on public land puts people, pets at risk

We applaud the efforts of residents to ban trapping on town land in Grand Island. These devices inflict immense pain on wildlife and pose a danger to our pets, as evidenced by the scores of reports of anguished people whose beloved companions fell victim to a trap. These devices can be set alongside roadways or trails commonly used by hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, including children.

Each year, leghold and body-crushing traps in New York are legally used to kill thousands of wild animals, while the number of “non-target” animals such as dogs and cats, rabbits, songbirds and raptors go unnoticed. These particular traps consist of two steel jaws (sometimes padded) that clamp together on a foot or leg, wounding but not killing the animal. Once caught, they experience excruciating pain, as the trap can tear flesh, cut tendons and ligaments and break bones.

When animals struggle to free themselves, their injuries are often aggravated and some will resort to chewing off their limbs to escape. They can suffer for hours or days before the trapper returns, and may die of blood loss, dehydration, hypothermia or be killed by predators.

We respectfully urge the Grand Island Town Board to enhance public safety and protect animals by extending the recent George Alt Boulevard trapping ban to include all town-owned land.

Brian Shapiro

New York State director

Humane Society of the United States