The Fur Council of Canada's website claims that all "the furs used by the trade are abundant and absolutely no endangered species are used". What they fail to mention is that it would be against the law for them to use endangered species. This is not a decision made by the fur industry, it is against the law to harm or kill endangered species.
They also fail to mention that traps are indiscriminate, which means that any person or animal (including pets and endangered species) can and do get caught in traps. The reported numbers are consistently disturbing. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 'non-target animals' can account for up to 67% of total catch.
It is important to note that there is no real incentive for trappers to report non-target catches, especially if they are endangered animals (which could result in penalization). Additionally, there is virtually no way to enforce the laws that make it illegal to catch endangered species, nor is there any way to prevent it, as traps literally don't have the capacity to discriminate. So while the industry can't 'use' endangered species, undoubtedly their use of fur results in the death of endangered species.
Below are some of the recent, reported incidents of endangered/at-risk species caught in traps.
EXAMPLES OF TRAPPING INCIDENTS INVOLVING ENDANGERED ANIMALS
February 2013: According to the Vancouver Sun, Canadian trappers are being credited with driving the U.S. wolverine population to the brink of extinction due to relentless trapping in Western Canada.
January 2013: A trapper in Idaho recently learned the hard way the importance of knowing how to tell a bobcat from a lynx when he mistakenly killed a lynx in one of his traps. Lynx are classified as threatened and protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act. (Source: Bonners Ferry Herald News, Jan 25, 2013)
January 2013: On January 1, 2013, The Duluth News Tribune (Minnesota) published an article, "Feds seek help, offer reward in Canada lynx death near Ely". According to the article, a lynx was found dead near Ely's Anderson Lake. Test results confirmed the animal had been caught in a leg-hold. The trapper did not report the incident but obviously tried to hide or abandon the carcass. Lynx are listed as a 'threatened species' in the USA.
November 2012: According to a news article posted by ABC news online, a bald eagle was found in a trap in New Hampshire. Bald eagles are listed as a threatened species in that state.
March 2012: According to the Wawaya News, a trapper killed an endangered eastern Canadian wolverine. Constance Lake's Larry Gillis and grandson Jeff Gillis caught an Endangered Eastern Wolverin (while targeting lynx). Gillis claims he didn't realize wolverines were an endangered species until a biologist has the Ministry of Natural Resources confiscated the body.
January 2011: CBC news reported that a Manitoba trapper found a dead full grown male cougar in one of his traps near Boissevain, about 250 kilometres from Winnipeg. The cougar is listed as a protected species. Under the law, the trapper was forced to report his find to Manitoba conservation officers. The cougar was only the fourth found in the province since 1973.
January 2011: Bangor Daily news reported that trapper William McCoy of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to jail for trapping and killing a Canada Lynx , an endangered species in that state. William also received a penalty for failing to report his violation of the law.
February 8, 2011: Fox News of Indiana reported that conservation officers submitted charges to the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office against trapper, Darin Hull, 43, of Reelsville, Indiana on two counts of illegal taking/possession of a bobcat. Police believe Hull trapped and skinned two bobcats. Indiana conservation officers located the bobcat hides in a freezer wrapped and marked “beef tongue,” according to a news release. Bobcats are a protected species in Indiana.
In addition to killing non-target animals like species at risk, traps also maim and kill family pets.