In a recent survey of Vermonters’ attitudes towards furbearer management commissioned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 71% of respondents polled said they enjoy having river otters in their area. Only 1% of those polled regarded otters as a nuisance, which is why I found it so surprising and upsetting that Vermont allows unlimited trapping of otters for several months each year.

These magnificent creatures are usually trapped in body-crushing kill traps purported to kill the animal quickly. However, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s “Best Management Practices” (BMPs) for trapping allow trapped animals to suffer for up to five minutes in “kill” traps before losing consciousness and still meet their BMP criteria. These same best management practices allow 30 percent of trapped animals to suffer for an undetermined period of time before they die. This happens when a kill trap catches an animal by the tail, face, or other body part and doesn’t deliver a lethal effect, thereby prolonging suffering.

(1) comment

Bob Galvin M.S.

Some of the hyperlinks didn't quite work as intended with this article, my apologies.

Here is the F&W-sponsored survey that I mention in the first paragraph -

Here is the list of cosponsors for H.191, the bill to ban recreational trapping -

Here is the full text of H.191 -

Thank you for reading, and have a great day.

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