According to the Fur Council of Canada’s website, “Worldwide, the fur industry is an excellent example of an industry based on sustainable use. All the furs used by the trade are abundant and absolutely no endangered species are used.”
This is a good example of “greenwashing”. It sounds good, but intentionally harming or killing endangered species is against the law (it’s not a selling feature). Furthermore, while it is obviously illegal to use endangered species in clothing, traps can and will maim and kill endangered and other non-target species.
Recent examples of traps killing our precious and endangered wildlife:
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 threatenedand 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 wolverine. Constance Lake’s Larry Gillis and grandson Jeff Gillis caught a wolverine on their trapline near the old Pagwa community site.
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.
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. 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 kill and maim family pets.)
Bottom line: Trappers are NOT conservationists. They trap and kill animals for needless fur products. These animals are not “surplus”, weak, or diseased either. These fur-bearers are killed solely because they happen to be the 10 or 12 species that have nice, thick fur out of an estimated 140,000 species of animals in Canada.