Letter: Trapping should be banned
In response to the pro-trapping letter recently published in your paper I would like to come right out and agree with parts of it.
Yes, I am anti-trapping and yes, I am anti-hunting, but only when it's done in the name of "recreation" or "sport." I do support sustenance hunting.
And, yes, I also agree that small-game population needs to be managed, always had to be to prevent being overrun by mice, rats, etc.
However, such wildlife management is naturally done by predators and does not need interference from humans; provided we let them do their job unencumbered and unmolested. That's the beauty of a natural food chain and the predator/prey cycle; prey populations rapidly increase. This is followed by an increase in the predator population: As predators eat the prey, their population goes down and the predator population in turn goes down because there is less to eat.
The animals work it out among themselves. And with an intact food chain and undisturbed eco-balance no species will ever be out of its allocated space and above sustainable numbers. That is the way an intact Nature works — no human interference needed. And with us all being so very busy in our lives surely that should come as a relief, right? We can take this imagined task right off our To-Do list!
Now, I do realize that coyotes have been introduced into Vermont not too long ago and so the stance of trappers and hunters is that they only take out what didn't use to be here originally, under the guise of `tradition' and some such. But let me remind everyone that even before the introduction of coyotes, other native predators did the management job just nicely and have done so successfully for millennia.
As for the dreaded ecological disaster of overpopulation with all its "horrifying" results of "starvation and disease epidemics" I can only point to any of the other 100+ countries around the world that have moved on to wildlife management options that do not include traps. Why, even Iraq has banned trapping! Not only are traps inhumane, they are indiscriminate so can hardly be an effective way to "manage" populations. And you know what? There may be a lot of things going wrong in those countries but they are definitely not experiencing large-scale wildlife starvation or are run over by rodents or pests and are scrambling to reintroduce trapping as their last-ditch rescue measure. The key to their success is open-mindedness, actual true research, ethical awareness, and a general willingness to work with the wildlife and improve our co-habitation on this blue planet.
The first step to improve our own relations here in Vermont with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department would be if we perceived a genuine effort to join the modern world and learn about such alternative methods, and if they acknowledged that, yes, there is indeed another way of doing things and traps are not needed for the task at hand as the letter writer implies. They can try to explain away their blood sport with so and so many pseudo-reasons, but when it comes right down to it?
Not even his very clever wording can conceal the fact that trapping is actually done for the fun of killing an animal in the worst possible way, period. Oh, and making a buck by selling the pelt at fur auctions for an average of $10-15. Yay!
— Renate Callahan
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