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In The News · · ·

Purdue University Criticized for Fur Trapping Course

This fall, Purdue University offered two continuing education credits to people who completed a weeklong course which teaches students to be more efficient fur trappers.

Students often trap the animals in steel-jaw leghold traps. These traps, banned in ninety nations and eight states, are infamous for causing painful injuries to the animals unfortunate enough to be trapped.

For example, 53% of otters captured with steel-jaw leghold traps as part of a reintroduction attempt in Indiana required treatment for serious injuries ranging from amputated toes to broken teeth.

Two instructors for the Purdue course, Pete and Ron Leggett from Maryland, have recommended questionable means of dealing with non-target animals that are accidentally, but regularly, caught in steel-jaw leghold traps.

In their book, The Autobiography of Leggett's Fox Trapping Methods, they describe a technique for removing a non-target skunk from a trap after using a club to stun the animal: "Immediately place one foot on the body of the skunk and reach down and release the skunk's foot from the trap. Immediately grab the skunk by the back and throw it as far as you can."

The Trapper's College took place this past September. Subjects covered include Fur-Skinning, Handling, Grading and Marketing, Trap and Snare Placement. The course also included a section on justifying trapping to the public.

Participants were required to become members of the Fur Takers of America, a national organization that promotes fur trapping, before joining the class.

ENDTRAP: Vermonters for Banning Leghold Traps

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