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Why choose to hurt animals for recreation?

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I was talking with a friend recently about the impending wolf hunt. She told me she and her husband were walking through the woods on a cold, crisp fall day when they found a dog that had its leg caught in a leg-hold trap. They managed to set it free and to find its owners, but the dog ended up eventually losing its leg.

Last year there were two stories in the news about dogs caught in traps. In one incident the owners were out walking their dog and it wandered off briefly. They heard the dog yelp and found it in a conibear trap (designed to kill instantly, which it did). I had one of my dogs get caught in a snare trap (around her neck) but a friend who was with me was able to set her free. Traps are not animal specific.

I would think there are many domestic and even wild animals that get caught and hurt or die in traps that were meant for another species.

I spoke to the DNR Wolf Management Specialist about why the DNR decided to open a hunting season on wolves. I was told it’s for recreational purposes and is not to address overpopulation or any other management objective. It’s just because trapping is considered recreation in Minnesota.

I was told by the DNR the snare and foot-hold traps allowed to be used to trap wolves don’t hurt the animal (but if a licensed wolf hunter kills one in a conibear trap it’s legal). The DNR said it has a problem with hunters not checking the traps daily as they are legally required to do. So, the animal could be in the trap for days. If an animal is caught in a trap and can’t move, I would think there’s still some physical pain in addition to the animal being frightened, and, depending on how long it’s in the trap, cold, hungry, thirsty, and possibly attacked and killed by another animal, or, as will happen with the wolves, eventually approached by a hunter and shot at close range.

I would hate to think any animal, domestic or wild, would be hurt and tortured in such a way. I’m so sorry, dear wolves, and other domestic and wild animals that will be injured or killed, for the actions of humans who choose to hurt you for no apparent reason other than “recreation.”

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