To the Editor:

Your article, “Drowned raccoon example of trapping gone wrong” (August 29, 2017) relayed Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm’s alarm over “unnecessary, inhumane trapping” in New Canaan, and the sad death of a raccoon whose leg was caught in a crushing Conibear trap. All of that is most unfortunate and true, yet Friends of Animals looked into the incident further, and found that the trap was illegally set.

In truth, a licensed trapper would be operating outside the law if a leghold or Conibear trap was set for a raccoon prior to Nov. 6, or after March 15th - which is the legal (although hideous) trapping season. Also, the trapping incident didn’t take place under exclusions for homeowners in the law.

The Conibear trap wasn’t sanctioned by the homeowner with the pool, plus the trap had been dragged to that site with no tags on it to allow the Animal Control Officer to see who set it. As Connecticut’s wildlife agency DEEP told me, there was no indication that the trap was set according to regulations - making it an illegal set. Friends of Animals is offering an award of $200 for anyone who provides information to us which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who set the illegal trap.

No raccoon, fox, coyote, beaver or other furbearing animal should be tormented, harmed and killed for their fur or for any other frivolous reason. All Conibear and leghold traps should be prohibited and banned by state law, and meanwhile, residents can best respect the wildlife who still dare to live among us by shunning all fur and not feeding a market that depends on such antiquated, vulgar fashion expressions.

Priscilla Feral

President, Friends of Animals

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