Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pet Safety and Protection Act and the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act

With Bowed Head, and in Terrible Pain and Anguish, He Gives Up the Ghost & Prays for an End to his Suffering

Letters needed in support
November 3, 2009

Dear Humanitarian:


As the trapping season commences across the country with the beginning of fall, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has introduced legislation to end the use of brutal traps on furbearing animals within federal wildlife refuges. H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, which was submitted with a total of 35 original cosponsors, helps to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System by placing a ban on the use of cruel body-gripping traps within the refuge system.

Currently, animals living within national wildlife refuges are at risk of falling victim to body-gripping traps where they may endure excruciating pain. More than half of our nation’s 550 refuges currently allow trapping using steel-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps and snares. Steel jaw leg-hold traps clamp shut with bone-crushing force on an animal’s leg; the pain is so intense that an animal may chew off his or her own limb to escape on three legs. Conibear traps are designed to crush the animal’s spinal column for a quick kill. However, the trap often misses and clamps down on the chest or pelvis, crushing but not immediately killing the animal who suffers horribly. Snares are among the oldest form of trap, a simple noose made of thin wire, which tightens around an animal's neck or body as he struggles to get away.

H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, will put an end to use of these traps within the refuge system. Body-gripping traps have been restricted in several states and leghold traps have been banned in 89 other nations. Because body-gripping traps and snares do not discriminate, they jeopardize the birds, deer and threatened and endangered species inhabiting wildlife refuges. Bald eagles, Canada lynx, gray wolves and other imperiled species are frequent victims of traps set for other species.

A national Decision Research public opinion poll showed that 79% of Americans believe trapping on national wildlife refuges should be prohibited, while 88% believe wildlife and habitat preservation should be the highest priority of the refuge system. Trappers, who comprise less than one-tenth of 1% of the population, already have access to millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system for their activities.


Please write or e-mail your U.S. Representative today, urging him or her to cosponsor H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act. For more information about the bill, to find your legislator or to send an email please visit AWI’s Compassion Index at www.CompassionIndex.org.


Class B dealers sell non-purpose-bred dogs and cats for research. They are supposed to acquire the animals they sell only from other dealers, pounds, and individuals who have bred and raised the animals themselves. However, these dealers routinely flout the Animal Welfare Act, obtain animals through fraud, deception, and outright theft, and falsify their records. They are notorious for keeping the animals in horrendous conditions. USDA spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars each year unsuccessfully trying to regulate them and has acknowledged that it cannot guarantee that dogs and cats are not being acquired illegally for use in experiments.

A National Academy of Sciences Committee report released on May 29, requested by Congress and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), concluded there is no scientific need to purchase dogs or cats from Class B dealers for NIH research. According to the USDA, there are 10 Class B dealers selling live dogs and cats for experimentation. Of these, one has a five-year license suspension, and six are under investigation for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In addition, there are at least 15 investigations underway related to illegal activities uncovered during the traceback of records.

H.R. 3907, introduced by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-NY), and S. 1834, introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), titled The Pet Safety and Protection Act, will end this abuse-ridden system by prohibiting Class B dealers from selling dogs and cats for use in experimentation.


Please write or e-mail your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators today, urging them to cosponsor H.R. 3907 or S. 1834, the Pet Safety and Protection Act. For more information about the bill or to find your legislator, please call us or visit AWI’s Compassion Index at www.CompassionIndex.org.

We hope you will share our “Dear Humanitarian” letter with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their legislators. When contacting your members of Congress, please respectfully request a response from them on the issue(s) so that you, as a constituent, will know their position. As always, thank you very much for your help.

Cathy Liss

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