The shocking undercover investigation exposes the cruelty of animal trapping in the United States, including for the fur trade.
An undercover investigation in the States, which exports wild-trapped and farmed fur to the UK, revealed shocking footage showing trappers brutally bludgeoning and killing racoons.
The November/December video of the trappers out in the field in the US state of Iowa has been released by Born Free USA in collaboration with Humane Society International.
An undercover investigator accompanied three trappers and captured harrowing and disturbing footage that reveals the inherent cruelty of trapping.
The agent also attended the National Trappers Association Convention in July and a state-sponsored “Trappers Education Course” in November.
The captured evidence shows:
- Trapped raccoons being battered with a baseball bat causing protracted death.
- A trapper standing on the neck of a raccoon after the animal has been beaten with a bat.
- Animals being thrown in the back of a pickup truck after being bludgeoned but without confirmation of death. One raccoon was later found to still be alive and was hit multiple times again with the bat.
- A dead fox in a leghold trap who had struggled so hard to free himself that his leg had snapped clean through. Coyotes had likely killed the fox as he was unable to defend himself or run away.
- The bloody toe of a coyote torn off and left in the jaws of a trap during the animal’s escape. The trapper added the toe to his grisly souvenir collection of other previously retrieved toes, displayed on his truck dashboard.
- A representative from the Department of Natural Resources volunteering information on loopholes in trapping law, and trainers on a state sponsored education course laughing as they talk about illegal practices.
‘We remain complicit in this cruelty’
Claire Bass is the executive director of Humane Society International/UK. She said: “This investigation provides a graphic account of the casual disregard for animal suffering that underpins the whole fur trade.
“As if it’s not enough to be caught for hours or even days in torturous traps that should belong only in horror films, the animals we filmed also endured protracted and violent deaths, being repeatedly bludgeoned and left to suffer, all to be skinned and sold for fur fashion.”
She added: “For as long as the UK continues to import and sell fur from animals caught in the wild or bred on factory fur farms, we remain complicit in this cruelty.
“I urge Boris Johnson to watch our video evidence to see for himself the abhorrent cruelty of the fur trade, and heed the enormous public support to ban fur. Britain must not be party to this nasty trade anymore.”
UK legislation on fur farming and imports
Fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2003, while trapping animals for fur with leg hold traps has been outlawed for more than 60 years. However, the country still imports approximately £800 million worth of animal fur from overseas.
This is despite the fact that fur has fallen out of favour with the general public. According to Humane Society International, 94% of Brits now avoid fur.
Latest YouGov polls also show that 73% of Brits support a fur sales ban, with 74% of Conservative voters wanting to see the ban in place, up from 64% in 2018. Moreover, 63% of Brits think the government should level up on its animal protection policies.
Even the fashion industry is ditching the archaic fabric, with countless mainstream brands launching apparel, shoes and other accessories in alt-leather options after being motivated by ethical labelling, sustainability and consumer demand.
While the UK sets out a clear ambition to be a ‘world leader in animal welfare’, proposed bans on imports of fur and foie gras in the country, are to be dropped after many MPs opposed the legislations, which consequently stalled the long-awaited “Animals Abroad Bill”.
According to government sources, the bans will likely have to be brought forward as private members’ bills, sponsored by individual MPs, and will no longer be a Conservative party commitment, the Guardian reported.
Commenting on the amendments, Queen guitarist and animal welfare campaigner Brian May told the Guardian he was disappointed by the government weakening animal welfare legislation.
“I am disappointed. I’m always disappointed when it comes to animal welfare bills. We need to look at our attitude when it comes to animals – there’s so much talk by this government, they’re always making grand promises, but there’s so little action,” he complained.
“Time and time again legislation which would protect animals is torpedoed. Or they take bits out and make it toothless and not fit for purpose.”
Sign the petition to the UK to stop importing fur cruelty here.
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