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Who Killed Grace? Part 3, Harvest of Blood
(Courtesy of Les Editions Main Street)
The Conibear trap is a cunning and malicious death machine
Article by Neil H. Zach
The Conibear trap consists of two metal rectangles hinged together midway on the long side to open and close like scissors. One jaw has a trigger that can be baited. The opposite jaw has a catch or "dog" that holds the trap open. Intended to be an "instant killing" device, the Conibear trap is designed to snap shut in a scissor-like fashion on an animal's spinal column at the base of the skull. However, because it is impossible to control the size, species, and direction of the animal entering the trap, most animals do not die quickly, instead of enduring prolonged suffering as the clamping force of the trap draws the jaws closer and closer together, crushing the animal's abdomen, head, throat or other body part.
Domestic animals are increasingly frequent victims of this indiscriminate trap, especially the size 220 (7"). Numerous veterinary reports indicate that dogs and cats may be found dead or alive by their owners in these traps after suffering for days. Because it is extremely difficult to open the trap jaws, most pet owners are not able to free their companions in time to save their lives and are forced to dispatch their animal friends with blows to the head with a rock or some other blunt object to end their suffering.
In the years 1999/2000, 8,067 trappers paid in total, $12,907 for the privilege of harvesting 236,932 fur-bearing species and the exclusive trapping rights to many thousands of square kilometres of Quebec’s public land.
Manufactured in three standard sizes, Conibear traps are frequently used in water sets to trap muskrat and beaver. In addition, they are used on land to trap raccoon, pine marten, opossum, and other furbearers. However waterfowl such as duck and geese and even birds like owls and hawks have become victims.
Despite its claim for being humane, research studies have repeatedly shown that the Conibear trap does not kill instantly. In one study carried out by the Canadian Audubon Society, which evaluated Conibear efficacy, only 15% of the strikes might have been instant, painless kills, meaning an horrific eighty five percent of the animals were held in positions that probably caused extreme agony before their long-drawn-out deaths.
CUTLINE: The Conibear trap has caused the pain and suffering of thousands of innocent animals, many of them household pets. Without warning signs pointing out where trappers have set them, what will prevent your children from falling victim to these invisible monsters?
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