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Many people are unaware that trapping still exists, thinking it a relic of a bygone era. The truth is trapping kills more than 52,000 furbearing wild animals every year on Montana public lands – the exact number unknown, as many species such as fox and weasel can be killed without a limit or license! And for what? A pillow or decoration? Countless animals are maimed and killed every year – the unintended victims of trapping, including owls, eagles, dogs and bears. Trapping has pushed species such as wolverine and lynx to the brink of extinction.

Initiative 177 would not affect trapping on the 2/3 of our state which is private property, nor the use of traps by state wildlife officials. Private citizens are not trapping for the greater good – this is the job of public officials. And it’s reported that most of the pelts are sent to China and Russia. Much of the opposition to this initiative is coming from deep out-of-state pockets.

Wild animals have no special interest lobby. They’re relying on those of us who recognize this cruel practice as something no longer appropriate in modern times. Animals suffer unimaginable agony caught in traps – imagine chewing your foot off to escape. The majority of residents and visitors value seeing these animals alive rather than as pelts. Please choose what is moral and right-vote “yes” on I-177.

Margee Ten Eyck,

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