October 1, 2020

Animal Rights Group Out to Ban Trapping in Maine and Minnesota

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The Animal Protection Institute, an animal rights group, based in California, is attempting to further their agenda to end trapping everywhere by hiding behind the Endangered Species Act. API is threatening a lawsuit against Maine and Minnesota if they don’t stop trapping in habitat areas used by the Canada lynx and bald eagles.

According to figures they got from their own sources, Maine has incidentally caught just over two dozen lynx and eagles in traps over the past dozen or so years. Those figures are debatable. It is clear their intention is only to stop trapping and they are using the Endangered Species Act to further their agenda.

Skip Trask, lobbyist for the Maine Trappers Association, says he disagrees with API’s interpretation of the Endangered Species Act. Using the ESA was successful in 2003 in stopping the coyote snaring program in Maine.

Both Maine and Minnesota allow trapping in habitat where endangered animals live. In Minnesota, it is the bald eagle. The official statement from Maine wildlife officials puts the eagle population at 385 nesting pairs and the lynx numbers at anywhere between 200 and 500 animals. Nobody knows for certain about the lynx because they are so reclusive and difficult to track. According to Skip Trask, he says his experiences and that of fellow trappers, put the population of the alusive cat into the thousands.

It is a shame when a group such as the Animal Protection Institute and many of the other animal rights groups have to abuse a law like the Endangered Species Act, to promote their personal agendas. Some of these groups are so far out in left field, they have been known to kill animals and blame it on hunters and trappers.

The intent of the Endangered Species Act isn’t to force people to cease living and normal activities. Taking away the means for many to make a living when any incidental deaths of protected animals is minimal and has no real negative affect of the species, is plain wrong.

The Wildlife Alliance of Maine, formed after the battle about bear hunting in 2004, said the Maine DIF&W has turned a blind eye in dealing with this issue. WAM has provided API with data they have on trapping and the lynx and bald eagle. Although they are not involved in any lawsuit threatened by API, WAM thinks what they are doing is a good thing.

We’ll continue to follow this story and keep you posted.

Tom Remington

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