“Jelly head” is a term frequently used to describe animals who have been caught in neck snares. The name refers to trapped animals who experience such severe edema (swelling as a result of excess fluid collecting in the animal’s head) that the victim’s head and neck swell grotesquely. According to a new paper published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science by Gilbert Proulx and Dwight Rodtka, canids who are strangled by these devices suffer a brutal death and may take days to die. As they struggle to escape, the animals break their teeth on the snare cables and sustain deep cuts through the flesh around their necks, in addition to the extreme swelling of their heads. If caught by the abdomen rather than the neck, the animal may be disemboweled.
Neck snares are permitted throughout much of Canada and in many US states. The authors hope to bring national and international attention to the inhumaneness of these traps so that they will be banned.