A growing risk... You might be surprised to learn that fur trappers are demanding -- and seem to be getting from the Wisconsin Legislature -- access to just about every inch of publicly owned parks and wildlands. For some reason, their "right" to terrorize, hurt, maim, and kill wild animals is deemed more important by lawmakers than other people's "right" to have their tax dollars used to protect wild animals and their habitats, and to have parks to visit that aren't mined with traps.
Money and fun... The main reason people set traps for wild animals is to kill them and sell their fur. A secondary reason is their enjoyment in doing so. Some people trap as a hobby. Regardless of why people trap, the effect on the animals is the same.
Not at all secret... Trappers aren't like the people who operate animal labs or factory farms. Animal labs and animal farms go to great lengths to keep what they do hidden from the public. (The University of Wisconsin, Madison, for instance, has destroyed many 100s of videotaped experiments on monkeys to keep the public in the dark about what they do to animals. They have been fighting in state court for three years (as of March 2012) to keep photographs of highly invasive experiments on cats out of the public eye. Iowa has made it illegal to film or photograph animal agriculture because of the horrible cruelty documented with videos and photographs and the subsequent fines and embarrassment that have resulted.)
Trappers are more like rodeo cowboys. They are proud of what they do. As a result, a very large number of websites dedicated to trapping can be found.
Cruel and indiscriminate... Setting traps around a beaver dam will likely catch beavers, but setting traps in a field or woodland can catch any animal attracted to the bait.
Communities in Wisconsin have had trapping shoved down their throats by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the state agency that manages the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. In order for a town, city, or county to receive part of the $86 million offered by the state each year for the acquisition of unimproved lands for park space, the town, city, or county must promise in writing that the acquired land will be available to trappers, hunters, and fishers. Allowed exceptions are so narrowly defined and so rarely granted as to be nonexistent. By order of the DNR, no trapping allowed means no preservation of wild areas.
In a nut shell... Wisconsin hunting, trapping, and fishing enthusiasts have co-opted for their own enjoyment, all lands purchased with taxpayer monies intended for conservation and preservation. The interests of the lovers of nature and its animal residents have been dismissed out-of-hand.
We are very sorry to say here, and hope for some change in the future, that the current Wisconsin State Legislature is in the hip pocket of the killers. Until the majority of members of the Wisconsin State Legislature become responsive to local community concerns, change and impovement on this front in the fight for animals is unlikely.
But, your elected state representatives ought to hear from you nevertheless. They perceive silence as agreement.
Use of Dogs in Wolf Hunts
The Alliance for Animals and the Environment supports the relisting of wolves as an endanged species. Since they were removed from this list and hunting was permitted, wildlife advocates have provided scientific evidence demonstrating that this population is far too fragile to be subject to hunting. The fact that only the alpha male and female in any wolf pack breeds -- and that hunters cannot tell which wolvees are alphas -- means that an open hunt can disrupt pack structure and breeding to devastating levels.
Wisconsin has taken the atrocity of wolf hunting one step further, allowing the use of dogs in wolf hunts. Training a hunting dog to attack a wolf is virtually identical to the training involved in dog fighting. Captive wildlife, such as coyotes and foxes, and even shelter animals, are restrained while the hunting dogs are trained to attack, tear, and kill them.
Needless to say, hunting dogs face dangers in the hunt and are harmed and killed. Wisconsin pays hunters for dogs killed in hunting: nearly half a million dollars since 1985. www.wisconsinwatch.org/2013/10/14/is-state-too-open-to-hunting-with-dogs/ These payments are often abused and lead to a disregard for the welfare of dogs.
Legislation is pending that would prevent the use of dogs in hunts of their fellow canines.
Goose Egg Oiling
Many people see Canadian Geese as pests. These beautiful birds gather in our populated areas and their waste is not appreciated by residents. To protect them from less humane methods of population control, many wildlife organizations perform goose egg addling (including egg oiling). Addling is strictly controlled by permits and requires training.
The eggs of Canadian Geese are tested to ensure that they are in the early state of development, before an air sac develops. If this is the case, the egg is coated with oil, which prevents further development.
If eggs are removed from a goose's nest, the goose will lay again. Addling prevents this and reduces the overall number of hatchlings, effectively controlling the goose population without contraceptive drugs or culls.
The Alliance for Animals and the Environment performs and annual goose egg oiling program to facillitate population control by humane means.