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As you probably know, the Animal Trap Restrictions Initiative, also known as Initiative 177, is on the Nov. 8 ballot in Montana as an initiated state statute.

I take my responsibilities as described in the veterinarian's Hippocratic Oath very seriously: “Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering...” Therefore, we as veterinarians must support this initiative.

Initiative I-177 is not about a few dogs and cats that get caught annually in traps. It is not about sneaking in the back door to take away our hunting and fishing rights. It is not about tarnishing some long, wonderful tradition of our fur bearing history. It is not about endangering the public with vermin ridden public lands.

It is about how we kill animals. This initiative's purpose is not to threaten Montana's hunting and fishing culture that are viewed as fair chase, designed for individual use and well regulated. Trapping by contrast is indiscriminate, excessively cruel, meant to kill en masse, poorly regulated and done either for profit, recreation or to protect private interests.

Please consider the inhumane nature of trapping any animal and end million of hours of wildlife suffering. Please vote yes on I-177.

The Veterinary Coalition for a Trap Free Montana lists over 60 practicing veterinarians in full support and agreement with the goal of I-177 to make Montana's public lands trap-free (their names can be found on this site: http://mtveterinarian.org/trap-free.html).

Please join them by supporting I-177 on Nov. 8 by voting yes.

Alan Applebury, DVM,

on behalf of 60 Montana veterinarians,

Hamilton

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