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Sign this petition and urge Commissioner Louis Porter of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife to ban the use of leg-hold, foothold, and underwater pocket traps for hunting.
The product of fur trapping is easy to see, and has long been vilified as one of the more barbaric corners of fashion. It's easy to find objection with animals being killed and skinned for the profit of design houses. But the inhumanity isn't relegated to a hunter's bullet. Where "foothold" or traditional "leg-hold" traps are used, animals can suffer, starve, and even drown over the course of days, all while unable to move .
These traps have been traditionally used by fur trappers, as the mechanism does not harm the majority of the animal's fur. In Vermont, in particular, the usage of these traps is largely unregulated. Animals are commonly found after days of languishing, and often suffering greatly, if not dead .
Otters, some of the most intelligent animals in the northeastern U.S., are being drowned and starved to death through the use of these inhumane traps. Even while more and more communities are standing up against their usage — leg-hold and foothold traps are banned in at least 100 countries around the world  — the state of Vermont refuses to take notice.
Vermont doesn't have a great record when it comes to enforcing humane hunting practices. In fact, the state Fish and Wildlife Department granted a request to extend the otter hunting season in 2017 , granting full permission to use foothold and leg-hold traps. Louis Porter, commissioner of the Fish and Wildlife Department, said an average of 160 otters are killed every year, and as many as 10 more will be trapped during the month-long extension .
The extension was prompted by calls of otter overpopulation, but even in neighboring states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, where otters are also plentiful, there are regulations in place regarding prohibiting inhumane trapping methods.
It's within the jurisdiction of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commission to set higher standards for hunting, and that includes animals being trapped for their fur. At least 75 percent of Vermont residents oppose leg-hold and body gripping traps , and that number is steadily growing with the support of others around the world.
Sign the petition today and put an end to this senseless suffering.
Dear Commissioner Louis Porter of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Vermont is one of the most beautiful states in our country, with magnificent wildlife and natural features. But while the rest of the world may appreciate the state's beauty, it is hard to look past the cruel practices that pass as otter hunting in Vermont year after year.
Leg-hold and foothold traps, as well as underwater pocket traps, have been banned in at least 100 countries around the world, as well as several U.S. states. It's widely recognized that these devices cause great pain and suffering to the animals that are trapped by them, as they often languish for days before a hunter returns to check the traps.
Many of these animals even resort to chewing off their own limbs, or are found dead after losing blood in the process.
It is within your jurisdiction to set humane standards for hunting, and that includes hunting practices when it comes to animals being trapped for their fur. At least 75 percent of Vermont residents oppose leg-hold and body-gripping traps, and that number is steadily growing with the support of others around the world.
I demand that you ban the use of leg-hold, foothold, and underwater pocket traps today. It's not a matter of solving overpopulation. It's not a matter of protecting business interests. It's a matter of common decency when it comes to proper hunting practices, and it's time to make the humane choice.