Every year, raccoons, coyotes, minks, and other furbearing animals are maimed or killed by traps. Trapped animals frequently suffer slow, painful deaths; some animals even chew off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to free themselves. An Act Relating to Trapping and Hunting (H. 172) would significantly limit trapping in Vermont. The bill also bans the use of dogs in hunting black bears, a cruel practice known as “bear hounding.”
Trapped animals endure extreme cruelty, often suffering from dehydration, starvation, and broken bones, and left vulnerable to attack by other animals. Wild animals who survive until the trapper returns are commonly bludgeoned or choked to death. Traps also don’t discriminate. Dogs, cats, and protected species have been injured and killed by traps in Vermont. H.172 would only permit trapping when conducted by a trained and licensed professional, or by a homeowner or tenant if the animal is found in the act of destroying property or attacking a companion animal or farmed animal, or to protect public highways or bridges from damage or submersion.
In “bear hounding,” mother bears can be separated from their young. During summer months, exhausted from being chased, some bears become severely dehydrated or even die. Dogs who corner bears are also in danger of being mauled or killed. Seventeen states already prohibit the use of dogs in hunting black bears, including Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
H.172 is sponsored by Representative James McCullough (D-Chittenden-2).