Ban Cruel Steel Jaw Leghold Traps

Fox caught in steel jaw leghold trap

Target: President of the United States Barack Obama

Goal: Ban the use of cruel steel jaw leghold traps in the United States

Designed to grasp an animal by the leg using spring-operated metal jaws, leghold traps are an incredibly barbaric hunting and trapping tool that threatens the lives of thousands of innocent animals each year. Birds, domesticated cats and dogs, and endangered species have all been unintentionally caught, tortured and killed by steel jaw leghold traps. These frightened animals have even gone so far as to chew off their own limbs in an attempt to escape from the bloody traps. Sadly, even the small number of animals that are able to survive these painful traps suffer from damaged tendons and ligaments, crippling them and drastically decreasing their chances of survival in the wild.

Leghold traps have been banned in the United Kingdom since 1958, and nearly 100 other countries have followed suit by prohibiting the use of these inhumane traps. Animals in leghold traps suffer a slow, painful death as they gradually bleed out and become dehydrated. Because these traps are indiscriminate, non-target animals including endangered species and family pets are just as threatened as other “target” animals such as bears, beavers and coyotes.

By signing this petition, you will be urging the U.S. President to enforce a federal ban on steel jaw leghold traps, prohibiting their use in all 50 states and saving millions of animals from suffering a slow, tortuous death.


Dear President Obama,

I urge you to enforce a federal ban on barbaric and inhumane steel jaw leghold traps. These nasty mechanical devices torture and kill thousands of animals each year, including birds, domesticated cats and dogs, and endangered species that have all been unintentionally trapped. Frightened animals have been known to bite off their own limbs in an attempt to escape these painful traps. In the rare case that an animal does survive the leghold trap, its injuries are so severe that it can no longer live in the wild and must be euthanized.

These cruel traps have been outlawed in the United Kingdom since 1958, and nearly 100 other countries have followed suit on the grounds that leghold traps are indiscriminate and inhumane. Please do all that you can to enforce a federal ban steel jaw leghold traps and save millions of animals from torture and death.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Accipiter via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. People who do such evil will have to give account of their stewardship on JUDGEMENT DAY, THEY IGNORE IT AT THEIR OWN PERIL. REMEMBER ETERNITY IS FOREVER.

    • Elizabeth Goudge says:

      Garth, This only works as a deterrent when you are addressing people who have a fear of divine retribution. The people at the top of the pile – you know the pile I mean! – Are wealthy and powerful, not through philanthropy and compassion – on the whole. They are the go-getter, money-grubber, sell-your-granny-for-a-buck types.

    • Caroline Burton says:

      This might make you feel better, but it isn’t going to ban steel jawed leghold traps, nor any other of the atrocities perpetrated against animals, human or non-human. Religion is a good excuse for almost anything! Rise Up…

  2. Ferne Harasimiw says:

    North America must set an example for the world. We must stop the slow torture of traps!

  3. STOP HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. i am constantly shocked by how America really is. You were like we were, in the Middle Ages. I had no idea how there they are no laws to protect wildlife , in the wild, in zoos and circuses in America. Your citizen act like savages, at home and abroad massacring wild life with powerful weapons, they buy from a shop , like we buy candy. They have very little education, and it appears that most of it comes from the Church, with teachings so removed from the version that left our shores, it is comical. It is time to grow up America, and evolve.. This comes first by respecting ones own environment and the environments of others. You need to remove the weapons from your citizens. Having these in society, makes a culture of fear, and gives no chance for personal advancement and imagination. All that is left is cruelty .

    • Elizabeth Goudge says:

      Wow. That really says it all. Except that not ALL across the pond are like that. But I agree there are an unacceptably high number of people that are.

      • The US is supposed to be so compassionate, what a myth. We are even behind China in some cases. It is because the rich and powerful are ruling this country without any consequences for their in humane actions.

    • While I agree we aren’t very kind toward all our animals, and lots of people are brutes, (however the same can be said for nearly ANY country) most of our education does NOT come from the church and where would removing weapons from citizens get us? Do you think criminals will let a law deter them? It will only lead to more death. There are actually lots of laws in place to protect wildlife (not enough but some) and we do not madsacre wildlife, some hunting is in order, but bow hunting, steel traps, and other tortourous tools are not. No country is perfect, and I’m sure I could point out many flaws within anothers country, so before you would call one country’s citizens savages, look upon your own country.

      • “The same can be said of any country” is a old saw, an excuse. We in the USA should be more willing to examine ourselves and work on improving, not automatically pointing the finger back when citizens of other countries point out that our behavior is shocking. The problem is our arrogance.

    • Absolutely unequivocally true. Americans can be great too but most of them are paranoic and ignorant and this is mostly work of the organized religion. Shame on church leaders! Tragedy for all living and breathing creatures!

  6. Andrew Haldane says:

    Joan Mayo+Garth Mills^^

    In a democracy majority rules; it’s up to decent people to shame our Governments to create and enforce stronger animal protection Laws and sanctions against the individuals, businesses and corporations who flout them. We are here Now, ansterable to our own consciences and each other. We are top of the food chain on this planet, in this epoch, this is the reality, and we are destroying it. We have dominion on this planet because evolution gave us the ability to walk upright, opposable thumbs, higher brain functions, our ability to use tools, reason, hypothesise, imagine, predict, apply logic, learn, calculate, replicate, communicate, plan and develop…Not because of any number of culturally based, mythical, anthropomorphic deity figures or a collection of fables and proverbs. Dinosaurs ruled for millions of years before the evolution of man, who did “god” make steward over them? As humans we are biologically suited to eat uncooked, unprocessed seeds, nuts, grains, vegetable and fruit in season… not meat! If we had kept to this diet as a species we wouldn’t have most of the modern illnesses and diseases we suffer from in developed countries; we would have more ozygen producing, carbon dioxide absorbing forests, less water run off and soil erosion, more fertile soils, more stable weather patterns, less greenhouse gas emissions and Global Warming, more diverse and abundant Flora And Fauna and a far lower, and more sustainable human population.
    Religion has been the cause and/or justification for most of the world’s human misery, suffering and wars and Halal and Kosher practices, performed in the name of god’s, are simply barbaric.
    We don’t need religion to have a conscience. We don’t need a bible to teach us ethics or responsibility we need clear thinking, passionate and compassionate human beings to educate the ignorant and get politically active!

  7. Claire PETITJEAN says:

    How is it possible to let animals suffer in such a way ? That is NOT necessary !!! just CRUEL !!! Such procedure is not forbidden in my country. And what any other animal which can also get trapped ? and domestic animals ? and children ??? Unbelievable ! Are we still living in the Middle-Ages ?! Just use cages big enough so that the animals can move and NO TRAP PLEASE !

  8. patricia Quiroz says:

    Compassion and respect to animals make us better human beings!!!!!

  9. PLEASE if you have ANY compassion, ANY self worth, ANY HUMANITY, If you want your kids or grandkids to step in these by accident and you can sleep at night doing that to a LIVING, BREATHING, BLEEDING MAMMEL SUCH AS US…PLEASE STOP THIS!!!! This is very cruel, and imagine ANYTHING in this world you wouldn’t want to suffer painfully that way and apply that to the wildlife!!! It’s SO VERY CRUEL!!! PLEASE BAN THIS!! It’s NOT CALLED FOR!!! I hope you can find it in your hearts to DO THE RIGHT THING!!!! BAN THESE TRAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Dagmar Riddle says:

    Ban ALL types of traps, leg, head, body traps. They are all cruel and have no place on earth. Stop torture & thrill killing & lethal managment of all animals. Humans are sick in the way we treat the animal world.

  11. Annette. Astin says:

    Please I’m begging you to stop this cruelty .You can make a difference.

  12. Banning traps doesn’t stop their use!I’m in the UK, my neighbours cat has 3 legs,she lost one in a trap set up in the woods nearby.I lived on the west coast several years back & contacted the SPCA about the retards setting traps in the woods,catching pine martens, foxes,badgers then either beating them to death or letting their dogs finish them off.The SPCA told me “aw it’s just the done thing round here”.Nothing was done about these guys!The farmers kill foxes,ravens badgers & raptors daily even although it’s supposed to be illegal . They’re investigating all the buzzard & red kite deaths just now but I expect even if they’re caught red handed they’ll get some ludicrous fine.

  13. These traps need to be destroyed all of them.This is such a cruel thing to do,animals don’t deserve to be treated like this. Bad thing is people can get caught in these dam things as well. Why we have this is beyond me how can people do this. we live in a world that seems to enjoy causing pain to everything or killing everything they come a cross this world is going to hell in a hand basket and so many just don’t seem to care.

  14. Humans surprise me daily. Their cruelty to animals /Nature / towards each other beyond words can explain ..when are these two legged beast ever going to leave animals alone I wonder ???

  15. Deborh Toppings says:

    this is so sickening and barbaric!!!! You should be ashamed!!!!!Stop the abuse now!!!!!

  16. Is the petition still going? Countless dogs in Minnesota are killed and dismembered. Minnesota being in the backwards backwoods mentality, legislators stated, yep, we’ll put it on the table for next year”. Send petition to OBAMA, he CAN override these horrible devices!
    I can’t even take a walk anymore, trapping is viral.

  17. kay allan says:


  18. Trapping is rampant and Fish and Game Departments throughout the country WILL NOT BAN traps and snares CHILDREN AND PETS maimed and killed constantly!! Please stop the ignorant legislators from approving this barbarism. Government wants to kill everything. Why do the people have to constantly fight this issue! TRAPS and SNARES MUST BE BANNED.


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