Steel jaw leghold traps- nasty, cruel mechanical devices, designed to grasp an animal by the leg using spring-operated metal jaws. In their desperation to escape the pain and terror of being trapped, the captured animal will sometimes bite off the limb that has been caught. They catch unintended animals, including birds, domestic pets and animals of rare species. Trappers unintentionally kill literally millions of non-target animals every year.
About 100 countries - excluding the United States, Canada and Russia - have so far banned the use of leghold traps on the grounds that they are inhumane and indiscriminate. Britain (where they are called gin traps) was one of the first countries to outlaw them in the 1950's and the European Union banned steel-jaw leghold traps in 1995.
There is ample scientific evidence to show that even if an innocent animal survives the trapping, it often ends up with damaged tendons or ligaments in its efforts to escape. Trapped animals still suffer from torsion injuries, fractures, soft tissue damage and other limb injuries. Innocent animals caught by mistake often have to be euthanased as a result.
We ask for a ban in all 50 states, a Federal ban, that makes steel jaw leghold traps illegal in the United States.