The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced plans to extend the beaver trapping season in parts of New York State. Traps set for beavers are inherently barbaric and inhumane. In the case of underwater traps set for beavers, it takes over ten minutes for the beaver to die of lack of oxygen. Footage of the inherent cruelties of lethal traps set for beavers can be seen here.
Beavers are highly intelligent and gentle animals who form close and cooperative family relationships. Beaver pairs are strictly monogamous, mating for life, while also being excellent parents whose young stay with them for at least the first year of their lives. Furthermore, beavers play an important role in the ecosystem and are considered a “keystone species,” as the ponds and wetlands formed by beaver dams increase biodiversity and improve overall environmental quality. After having been pushed to near extinction by fur trappers in the mid-1800s, their numbers have gradually increased and stabilized over the 20th century – yet their numbers are no where near what they were when European settlers arrived to this continent. Due to this history, the Empty Cages Collective recognizes it is imperative that beavers – and the biologically diverse ponds they create – be treated with tolerance and respect.
As our friends at Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife point out:
It makes no sense to weaken our state’s natural flood control as we endure more floods and droughts from global warming. Each NY beaver family builds dams that maintain about 15 acres of vital wetlands, and, according to US EPA, a one-acre wetland typically stores one million gallons. Dams slow the flow of streams so there is less damage downstream.
Beavers rarely overpopulate as each family defends a large streamside territory. When local beaver flooding of roads occurs, studies show that installing beaver “flow devices” saves taxpayers a lot of money, while saving crucial wetlands. Traps set for beavers routinely kill pet dogs in public places—at times while their owners watch on.
Please contact the NY DEC and ask for them to rescind the trapping extension by writing:
Chris Amato, Assistant Commissioner,
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,
Albany, NY 12233-4500.