Sunday, December 28, 2008

Modern Scientific Trapping

In Management by Majority Ted Williams writes in Audubon magazine that:

"When legholds are used by people who know and care about what they're doing, the animals rarely suffer serious injury.

The wolves now thriving in Yellowstone National Park, for example, are routinely caught with leghold traps so they can be outfitted with radio collars.

More than 2,000 river otters have been caught in legholds in the South and released virtually unscathed in midwestern states where the species had been extirpated. Of 14 otters captured last year by graduate student Tasha Belfiore of the University of California, Davis, none suffered more than a slight bruise or abrasion. Belfiore had spent three years designing the study, which was to have assessed genetic damage to otters from pesticides used in the Sacramento Valley. Her study might have helped preserve otters and other species, but because of the trap ban she has had to abandon it. 'If all the facts are out on the table and we still disagree, that's fine,' she told me. 'But to be making a decision based on misinformation isn't fair.'"

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