Ban Leg Hold Traps

  • by: Animal Advocates
  • target: Director General of Environmental Affairs, Mr Thomas Mbedzi
GIN TRAPS– horrible, 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. The use of gin traps has been illegal in the UK since 1958 and is banned in 90 other countries around the world.

The Government of South Africa is now proposing new legislation which appears to have re-named Gin Traps as ‘Soft Traps’ – a totally misleading name for such a nasty, cruel device. The legislation, if approved, will permit the continued use of these soft traps.

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. Of the literally tens of thousands of animals that die in them each year in South Africa, most are unintended catches such asantelope and giraffe.

We ask that you ban the use of these leg hold traps.


Mr Thomas Mbedzi
Director General of Environmental Affairs
Email: NMbedzi@environment.gov.za
Fax: 00 27 12 320 7026

GIN TRAPS– horrible, 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. The use of gin traps has been illegal in the UK since 1958 and is banned in 90 other countries around the world.

The Government of South Africa is now proposing new legislation which appears to have re-named Gin Traps as ‘Soft Traps’ – a totally misleading name for such a nasty, cruel device. The legislation, if approved, will permit the continued use of these soft traps.

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. Of the literally tens of thousands of animals that die in them each year in South Africa, most are unintended catches such asantelope and giraffe.

We ask that you ban the use of these leg hold traps.

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