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Trapping Reform Needed in Wake of Injury to Coquille, Ore., Man

After a Coquille, Ore., man was caught and injured in a trap that was set for beavers, The Humane Society of the United States is again calling for comprehensive trapping reform in Oregon. According to news reports, the victim stepped into a trap when he tried to retrieve his dog, who had gotten loose. Volunteers who responded to his cries for help were unable to free him from the device, but he was finally freed by firefighters who had to use bolt cutters to remove the trap, which broke the man’s leg.

Scott Beckstead, Oregon state director for The HSUS, said: “As this unfortunate individual can attest, these dangerous devices lie hidden in wait for any person or animal unlucky enough to step in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oregonians have demanded that the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission adopt common-sense rules to protect the public, family pets and wildlife from traps and snares. We renew the call for action in light of yet another terrible story about the hazards they pose.” 

Over the past two years, The HSUS, in partnership with other conservation and animal welfare groups, petitioned the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission for new rules that would require trappers to check their traps every 24 hours, post warning signs near traps set on public lands and keep traps a minimum distance away from public trails, campgrounds and other premises used by the public. The Commission, at the urging of ODFW and OTA, adopted a watered-down version of the rule. This incident adds to the long and growing list of incidents involving indiscriminate traps catching family pets and nontarget wild animals. In response to many of these stories, ODFW distributed a press release that puts the onus on the public, rather than trappers, to take steps to keep themselves and their pets safe.

The HSUS is urging Oregonians to demand that the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission adopt rules to protect the public from cruel and indiscriminate traps, including a 24-hour trap check requirement, warning signs and bigger setbacks from public premises. Other trapping conducted in the name of wildlife management should be limited by regulations designed to safeguard pets and their owners. 


Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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