The letter from the president of the New Mexico Trappers’ Association uses the words ‘ethical’ and ‘ethics’ several times about trapping (“Encourages Prosecuting Trapper,” Nov. 7, page A7).
Yet trapping is inherently not ethical. Traps are mindless instruments left hidden and unattended where they can slam shut on any hapless creature that stumbles into them. Only chance determines the injuries a trap will inflict. Those injuries can include everything from bruising, laceration and bone fracture from the capture moment itself to joint dislocations, broken teeth and self amputation from the animal’s struggle afterwards.
How is it ethical for a single trapper to kill as many bobcats, foxes, badgers and other ‘furbearing’ species each year without limit in order to profit from the sale of their body parts? We don’t allow this for deer or elk why do we allow it for these animals?
It isn’t just the animals whose pelts can be sold that are harmed. Any animal whose feet touch the ground is at risk. Bears, javelina, pronghorn, squirrels, birds of prey, ravens, quail, roadrunners, endangered wolves and dogs including herding dogs, hunting dogs and search and rescue dogs can and have been part of the collateral damage inflicted by traps. Does that seem ethical?
Currently, trapping is legal, but laws aren’t always ethical either. Human slavery, polygamy and dog and cockfighting were all once legal too.
If you agree that trapping is by nature unethical and that the law should change, please sign the petition at www.trapfreenm.org.