Keeping Trails Safe From Traps



Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jennifer Place, Program Associate of Born Free USA, who talks about how body-crushing traps on public lands are not only cruel and deadly to wildlife, but also to humans and their pets. She also discusses current legislation to prevent the sale and import of these deadly traps, and their use on public lands such as National Wildlife Refuges.


Each year, millions of furbearing animals are killed under the auspices of “nuisance wildlife control” and millions more are killed in the name of fashion. Indiscriminate body-crushing traps are used to capture or kill furbearing animals who are deemed a “nuisance” or who are valued only for the fur on their backs.


Once an animal is caught she may remain in the trap for several days before starving or dying from exposure. Snares are a wire noose and can cause trapped animals to slowly strangle to death. With leghold traps, an animal my chew off his own paw to escape, only to die days later from the injury. Wildlife traps are not only found in the deep wilderness, but also near hiking trails, in national wildlife refuges, on public and private lands where children play and dogs are walked, and even in urban areas. They are indiscriminate and can inflict serious injury – or death – to any animal or person who is caught.

Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, runs the site in order to educate and warn the public – especially outdoor enthusiasts — about the dangers of hidden wildlife traps and how to keep their pets and family members safe. This Safe Trails site contains information about the dangers of traps to companion animals and what people can do in emergencies, including how to release dogs from all types of traps. The site also highlights regulatory safeguards that could go far in protecting the public, pets and wildlife from injury, and focuses the worst states when it comes to trapping regulations that have the greatest impact on animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and public safety.

Born Free USA works to expose and address the dangers and cruelty of trapping by educating the public; encouraging legislators and policymakers to enact stronger laws; ensuring state agencies are enforcing existing protections; and championing humane alternatives of mitigating conflicts with wildlife. Born Free USA maintains an online database of reported incidents of non-targeted animals by state. Learn more at

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