A recent article, “Maine looking for new ways to manage declining fur trade” (Dec. 7), indicates that Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is attempting to convince Mainers that trapping of fur-bearing species is necessary to “manage” our wildlife and can even be profitable. The facts prove just the opposite.

With the fashion industry eliminating real fur, and sustainable alternatives having been developed, the trapping of animals for their pelts has become little more than a hobby, with fewer than 3 percent of Mainers engaged in it. Trappers’ numbers continue to decrease not only because of declining markets but also as the inherent cruelty inflicted on fox, coyotes, bobcats and beavers continues to be recognized by the public.

To claim trapping is a necessary tool in wildlife management is a great fallacy perpetuated by MDIFW. Food supply and resources tend to limit the growth of wildlife populations. Furthermore, trapping generally removes healthy animals from the populations, rather than sick, aged, infirm or very young individuals typically subjected to natural selection. Every animal in a population has a vital role to play in the ecosystem as predator or prey, and left to their own devices, will self-regulate without our help.

A trap doesn’t discriminate, has no mercy or compassion: It will hold fast any creature who has the misfortune to spring it. That could be a raccoon, a bobcat, an eagle or your pet dog. Trapping is a brutal, uneconomic activity, practiced only at great cost to Maine’s wildlife – animals who should be protected by MDIFW, not managed.

Don Loprieno

Bristol

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