March 2, 2009
Connecticut's Rescued Owl Dies
Statehouse to Consider Bill to Ban Leghold Traps
The Connecticut great horned owl who was rescued from a leghold trap last month had to be euthanized Saturday due to inevitable complications from her injuries. The owl had captured the hearts of citizens when she had to undergo an emergency foot amputation in an attempt to save her life. The owl had been in intensive care ever since that time until her death this weekend.
This owl's plight, however, has motivated state lawmakers to introduce a bill (S.B. 994) to ban the use of cruel leghold and body-crushing traps. Next Monday, the Connecticut General Assembly's Environment Committee will hold a public hearing on this bill which and is expected to vote on it soon after.
"The real tragedy here is that leghold and body-crushing traps are still legal and used throughout Connecticut," said Laura Simon, field director for the urban wildlife program for The Humane Society of the United States. "After hearing about what happened to the owl, so many people expressed astonishment that these traps aren't banned already. Connecticut residents must contact their state legislators and voice their support to ban leghold traps."
This owl was a visible victim, but there are countless more who go unnoticed, in addition to pets and children who are at risk from these harmful devices.
In Connecticut, more than 6,500 wild animals are legally trapped each year using body-crushing and leghold traps, according to DEP statistics. This figure does not include the "non-target" animals, like owls, hawks, dogs and cats who unknowingly get caught in these traps and suffer horrendously.
Eight states have already banned or severely restricted the use of these traps including: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington.
"This owl's death will not have been in vain if enough people contact their state legislators and voice their support for this leghold trap ban – Senate Bill 994," states Simon.
To learn more about wildlife issues, visit humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.