H.R. 1581 Steel Jawed Leg-hold Trap Prohibition Act

Sponsor: Nita Lowey (D-NY)

Co-sponsors: 85

Purpose: To end the use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps on animals in the United States.

Status: Referred to the House Committees on Commerce; Ways and Means; International Relations; and the Judiciary; Subcommittees on Crime; Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Action: SUPPORT. Write your representative and ask that he/she support H.B. 1581. Tell your representative that leghold traps are indiscriminate. For every "target" animal trapped, at least two other "non-target" animals, including dogs and cats, are trapped. Leghold traps also cause extreme suffering and pain to their victims. Animals caught in traps can endure fractures, ripped tendons, blood loss, amputations, and starvation. A national poll conducted in November 1996 showed that 74% of Americans believe leghold traps should be banned. These barbaric devices have been banned in over 80 countries and banned or severely restricted in seven states.

I am writing to urge you to support H.R. 1581 to end the use of steel jaw leghold traps on animals in the United States.

The steel jaw leghold trap is one of the most inhumane traps used today. It is designed to capture and hold an animal by its leg, but will shut on any body part when it is triggered. Animals captured in leghold traps frequently suffer from severe injuries, broken bones, torn flesh, and severed tendons. Although the leghold trap is usually set for fur bearing animals, it will trap any unsuspecting animal, including threatened and endangered species, birds and companion animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the National Animal Control Association have all deemed the leghold trap "inhumane." More than 80 counties have already banned the use of leghold traps.

Americans have also shown their opposition to the use of these traps by passing ballot initiatives in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts that banned these cruel devices. And a national Caravan Opinion poll conducted in December 1996 showed that 74% of Americans believe that the steel jaw leghold trap should be outlawed entirely.

Please support and co-sponsor H.R. 1581 and help America join the civilized world by banning these inhumane devices in the United States. I look forward to receiving a response from you regarding this important issue.


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