Why Steel-Jaw Traps Belong in Horror Movies

Profile photo of hhealy

Posted September 22, 2015 by Hannah Healy

Did you know that EVERY year, trappers kill millions of raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, beavers, otters, and other animals just for their fur? To catch all these animals, they use various types of traps, including snares and Conibear traps, but the steel-jaw trap is the one that’s most widely used. 

It looks like this:

See how quickly it snaps shut? When animals step on the spring, the trap’s jaws slam shut, clamping onto a limb or paw. As they struggle in pain to get free, the steel vise cuts into their flesh—often down to the bone—mutilating the leg or paw. Even padded steel-jaw traps cause tremendous damage.

Animals caught in traps can struggle for hours or even DAYS before the trapper returns to kill them. Many succumb to exhaustion, exposure, blood loss, or shock. Even padded steel-jaw traps still leave animals immobile, exposed, and helpless.

Some animals, especially mothers desperate to return to their babies, will even attempt to chew or twist off their trapped limbs. When they can’t escape, their babies are left alone, unable to fend for themselves.

Not only are trappers cruel, they also don’t care who gets caught in their traps. Every year, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals—including endangered species—are “accidentally” crippled or killed by traps placed in public areas across the country.


A woman in Juneau, Alaska, was cited for “hindering legal trapping in Juneau” after she reportedly “freed a bald eagle caught in a trap.” In the end, the bird had to be euthanized because of his or her injuries, according to an official at a raptor facility in the state’s capital.


A woman and her children in British Columbia found a cat named Phoenix whose leg was caught in a steel-jaw trap. They immediately took him to the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital in West Kelowna, where it was determined that his front leg had to be amputated. The surgery saved Phoenix’s life.

A dog named Miko in New Mexico got her front leg caught in a trap intended for coyotes. “She was just screaming and thrashing and biting,” recalled the woman who fond her. “It was a real panic.”

Because of the cruelty of using steel-jaw traps, they’ve been banned in 88 countries! The European Union has banned their use as well as the importation of pelts from countries that use them to trap and kill fur-bearing animals. Their use is also banned or restricted in several U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington. 

Sadly, across Canada and in parts of the U.S., these torturous devices are still legal. Animals are forced to suffer just so that their heads can be mounted on a wall and their fur can be made into a coat.

ALL animals slated to be killed for their fur suffer, whether they were wild-caught in traps or raised in a cage on a fur farm (as shown in the video below). In both cases, preserving the “quality” of the pelt is the primary concern—not preventing the animal from suffering.

You Can Help Animals!

Sign the pledge to stop wearing fur! You can also ask your local and state government officials to ban steel-jaw traps and support legislation that limits or prohibits their use in your area. 

Be sure to learn about OTHER animals killed for “fashion”:


facebook share button

twitter share button

Tags: , ,



Post a Comment

Please log in to comment.

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

Please check I'm not a robot

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

Please check I'm not a robot

US & Canada: Sign up for Mobile!

Games, freebies, events in your area & more

Mobile #

  I agree to the full texting T&Cs. Msg and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help, text STOP to end. Up to 10 msgs/month.

Follow Us