Facts About Furs


by Greta Nilsson and others

Animal Welfare Institute


Pain Perception in Mammals, by Samuel M. Peacock, Jr., M.D

1. The Fur Trade, a Short History, by Greta Nilsson

The Far Islands of the Earth-Sea Otters and Seals
Final Years of the 19th Century
The Roaring Twenties
Post Depression Fur Markets
Fun Furs
The 1970's-Making a Killing

2. Animals Killed for the Fur Trade, by Greta Nilsson.

North America
Latin America
New Zealand
Ranched Wildlife
Domestic Animal Fur

3. From Fur Bearer to Fur Wearer: the Agony of the Transition, by Christine Stevens

Steel Jaw Leghold Traps
Pole Traps
Jump Traps and Stop-loss Traps
Steel Jaw Traps with Tranquilizer Tabs
Padded Offset Traps
Killer Traps
Leg Snares
The Government Connection
Body Snares
Box Traps and Cage Traps
Dead Falls
Killing Methods on Fur Farms
Summary and Outlook

4. Apologists for the Steel Jaw Leghold Trap with Countering Views by Medical Men, Hunters, and Pet Owners, by John Gleiber

How the Ohio Referendum was Won
The Trapper and His World
Sports Hunting Adversely Affected
Injuries Suffered by Pets and Their Owners

5. Legislation Regulating the Taking of Furbearers, by Greta Nilsson

Steel Jaw Leghold Trapping Bans
North American Trapping Regulations

6. The Fur Trade and Endangered Species, by Greta Nilsson

How Species Become Endangered from Fur Trapping
Endangered Species Legislation

7. Alternatives to Fur, by Greta Nilsson

Synthetic Furs and Fabrics


Public Attitudes Toward Critical Wildlife and Natural Habitat
Issues, Survey, conducted by Dr. Stephen R. Kellert
Damage Due to Steel Jaw Leghold Traps, by Louis T. Berchielli
Population Changes of Carnivores in some Coyote-Control Areas, by Weldon B. Robinson
Species Captured/Killed by ADC, Fiscal Year 1977
Animals Trapped in the United States 1970-1977
Wild Fur Prices from British Fur Review
U.S. Department of the Interior Predator Control Policy
Circular letter to New York State Legislators from Ben Kahn Furs
Statement for a Debate on State -Provincial Management Rights and Responsibilities
vs. Federal Rights and Responsibilities by Christine Stevens
"Trapped," by John B. Oakes, New York Times
General Criminal Provisions Relating to Fish and Wildlife (U.S. Lacey Act)
U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, 1978 Amendments.
Amendments, 1979, to U.S. Endangered Species Act
North American Furbearing Species Extinct in U.S. States and Canadian Territories and Provinces
Furbearers Listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


In 1958, one year after publication of the first edition of Facts About Furs by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, England and Wales outlawed what the British call the "gin trap," a device known to Americans as the steel jaw leghold trap, or simply leghold trap. Other countries, Denmark, Austria, Chile, Republic of Ireland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Norway, Switzerland, India, Gambia, and the remainder of Great Britain -Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, had outlawed it by the time the second edition was published by the Animal Welfare Institute in 1973.

Since then, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Burundi, British West Indies, Colombia, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Portugal, Rhodesia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Sweden, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, and Upper Volta have banned it, bringing the total to 48 countries.

In some cases, developing nations have placed bans on all commercial trade in wildlife products in order to prevent depletion or even extinction of species within their borders owing to the enormous increase in world demand for wild furs, leather, ivory and horn from exotic creatures, with the resulting poaching, smuggling, and profiteering.

International action taken during this period, while important, has not been equal to the wiles of the international piracy which is robbing the peoples of the world of their natural heritage. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora has been ratified by 59 countries, and two meetings of the parties organized by the Secretariat, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The two most striking phenomena that have taken place worldwide since 1973 are the enormous increase in the price of fur and the equally wide increase in public revulsion at the long-drawn-out agony caused by the steel jaw leghold trap, the chief, indeed the well nigh universal, means of capturing animals for fur in the United States and Canada.

Constantly developing interest in behavior and intelligence of different species feeds this concern and highlights the conflict.

At Congressional hearings in 1975, we learned that an Alaskan lynx (current pelt prices have risen to $450 and a lynx coat may sell for $100,000) remained trapped for six weeks while members of its family brought it food to sustain its life. In the following pages, much specific detail on trapping and the fur trade is summarized and the full situation as it now stands is analyzed.

Author of the first two editions, F. Jean Vinter, M.D., who devoted many years to the study of the fur trade, donated her extensive files to the Animal Welfare Institute, and Greta Nilsson, author of The Bird Business and a 1978 report on river otters, has written the main body of this completely revised edition of Facts About Furs. She serves on the IUCN Survival Service Commission's TRAFFIC Group.

The Animal Welfare Institute is grateful for the provision of information on foreign legislation by Dr. Gerard Bertrand, Chief, International Office U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who obtained a computer report from Daniel Navid of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). We wish to thank Bill Clark for making his extensive correspondence with foreign governments available, Martha Scott, author of "A Contemporary Analysis of Traps and Trapping," for reading the manuscript and commenting on it. We appreciate provision of current statistics on animals trapped in the United States by Eugene Deems of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Others who helped by answering authors' questions include Sandy Rowland, R.J.F. Kramer, Ginger Merchant, Borg Osterberg, Ann Church, Ernest Graf, Marcia Wolf, Diane Halverson and Lewis Regenstein, author of The Politics of Extinction.

Research for this edition was conducted over a four-year period by Bianca Beary, Fran Lipscomb and Linda Tyrrell. Sheryl Sternenberg, Wendy Mettger and Diana Davis assisted in this extensive and demanding work.

We wish to give special thanks to all those who have sought to reduce suffering to furbearing animals: to Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward for refusing to sell steel jaw leghold traps, to every nation, state, county or city that has banned its use, even to those which have restricted it, for example Burnsville, Minnesota, that requires trap checking every twelve hours. Danish law is the most specific of all. Not only are steel jaw leghold traps banned, but all traps must be checked three times a day-morning, noon and evening, so no creature could remain in any trap without being either released or killed.

Three quarters of Americans oppose the use of the steel jaw leghold trap, according to a 1979 survey conducted by Dr. Stephen Kellert of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies under a contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (The exact figures are shown on page 179 of the Appendix). Whether trappers, furriers, and trap manufacturers can continue to thwart the opinion of the majority of Americans remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that more than 75% of the citizens in this country regard the leghold trap with abhorrence and want to see its use abolished.

Christine Stevens


The Animal Dealers

Evidence of Abuse fo Animals
in the Commercial Trade, 1952-1997

Edited by Mary Ellen Drayer
Introduction by Christine Stevens

With Chapters by Jason Black, Mary Ellen Drayer,
Jim Flasch, Ruth Fox, Peter Knights,
Jessica Speart, and Clifford Warwick

Animal Welfare Institute
PO Box 3650, Washington, DC 20007


Introduction by Christine Stevens

1. Inside the Dog Dealing Business: Dogs, Dollars, and Deceit

2. The Ervin Stebane Case by Jim Flasch

3. Regulation of Class B Animal Dealers Selling Dogs and Cats for Research
by Mary Ellen Drayer

4. Class B Dealers Selling Random Source Dogs and Cats for Research

5. Investigations into the Acquisition of Animals by Class B Dealers

6. Class B Dealers Selling Non-Random Source Dogs and Cats for Research

7. Class B Dealers Who Have Lost or Relinquished Their Licenses

8. Washington State Research Animal Dealers by Ruth Fox

9. The Mexico Connection: The Supply of Feline Dissection Specimens
to American Companies by Jason Black

10. Keeping Companion Animals Out of the Hands of Dealers

11. The Primate Trade by Jessica Speart

12. The Bird Dealers by Peter Knights

13. The Shelf Life of Reptiles by Clifford Warwick

A. List of Currently Licensed Class B Dealers Selling Dogs and Cats
for Research
B. List of USDA Regional Offices
C. Glossary
D. Affidavit of Mark Yardley
E. USDA Inspection Report Form
F. Application for License
G. Acquisition and Disposition Forms
H. Maps
I. Excerpts from USDA Regulations
J. Animal Welfare Act
K. Statements in Support of the Pet Safety & Protection Act
L. Newspaper Editorials in Support of the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act


Jason Black, former Communications Director with the World Society for the Protection of Animals, personally participated in the revelations about Mexican cats provided to U.S. biological supply houses.

Mary Ellen Drayer, the book's editor, also researched and wrote the chapters on the random source dealer trade. She is Associate Editor with the Animal Welfare Institute.

Jim Flasch was the journalist responsible for bringing attention to the terrible mistreatment of animals on the premises of dog dealer Ervin Stebane. A hard-hitting series of articles in the Appleton Post Crescent shocked the public into realization of the unrelenting cruelty suffered by the dogs.

Ruth Fox, former Publications Coordinator for the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Washington state, took part in highly effective investigation and law enforcement, including enactment of legislation requiring photographs of each dog purchased from dealers by Washington state scientific institutions.

Peter Knights is a brilliant undercover investigator with a special interest in wild birds, working with the Environmental Investigation Agency and now the Investigative Network.

Jessica Speart is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. She worked closely with Shirley McGreal, head of the International Primate Protection League, in the preparation of the chapter on the primate trade.

Clifford Warwick heads the Reptile Protection Trust in England.

Additional research and writing by Valerie Stanley, Doris Vidigal and Victoria Fox
Layout and design by Patrick Nolan


by Christine Stevens

Animal dealers have made ever-increasing amounts of money from their trade in recent years. Efforts to regulate commerce in dogs and cats for use in laboratories have fallen far short of the goal set by Congress in 1966. The importation of primates for experimentation and tests has brought huge profits to dealers even now, though the number of wild primates exported from Africa, Asia and South America has shrunk due to intense exploitation. The dealers take advantage of the scarcity to increase cost per animal.

The pet trade relies on animal dealers to supply them with exotic species, unwilling captives taken roughly and often painfully from their homes in the wild. Mothers and other family members are routinely killed to obtain infant primates.

Passage of the Wild Bird Conservation Act, prosecution of major bird dealers, and the airline ban on transport of wild- caught birds have dampened the enthusiasm that caused an explosion of activity in the trade in the 70s and 80s, when the United States imported 500,000 or more wild-caught birds every year. Traders have turned to exotic reptiles and amphibians, replacing some of their lost sales of wild birds. There are few laws to protect the frogs, toads, turtles and snakes now favored by the pet trade, except for the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act, which is under intense pressure from the Congress to repeal its basic provisions. These creatures are subjected to confinement so close that many are dead when the crates are finally opened. Clifford Warwick's chapter on the reptile trade vividly describes the problems.

The Animal Welfare Institute has documented dealer mistreatment of animals for many years. In 1952, Dorothy Dyce, AWFs Laboratory Animal Consultant, gave testimony in a trial before a Tennessee jury that landed an interstate laboratory dog dealer in jail. She showed photographs of the starving dogs forced by hunger to scavenge their fellows who had already succumbed. They fought each other for water from the hose she turned on in the dog dealer's absence. Pictures in the photo section show the acquisition of dogs at the Ripley, Mississippi trade day before transport to the dealer's holding pens in the Tennessee hills and then on to medical schools in Chicago. Despite this successful legal action, the Hargrove family remains in business. This family dog dealership is no exception to the rule. Numerous examples of dog dealer businesses handed on from father to son appear in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection reports of dog dealers throughout the country.

Random source dealers charge laboratories hundreds of dollars per animal if the animal is "conditioned," that is, fed to a normal weight, free of external and internal parasites and easy to handle. According to USDA, there are now less than 40 "'random source dealers" (called "'Class B dealers"' in USDA regulations under the Animal Welfare Act) who sell dogs and cats to laboratories. Some have become millionaires as a result of their trafficking, and guard their turf zealously.

Acquisition of dogs came under Congressional scrutiny in 1965 when a Pennsylvania dealer filled an order for Dalmatians for a New York laboratory, and a hospitalized owner saw a photograph of his Dalmatian, Pepper, among 18 dogs and a goat seized by the local humane society and pictured in the local paper. The dealer and his load of animals were allowed to proceed the following morning. Members of the family who owned Pepper made a long, fruitless journey to a New York dog dealer after the Pennsylvania dealer falsely stated he had taken Pepper there. When the State Police questioned him, he admitted he had delivered Pepper to Montefiore Hospital in New York. Unfortunately, the Dalmatian had been experimented on, killed and incinerated by the time she was tracked down.

Chapter One records a televised interview with a large Midwest dog dealer's employee who decided to quit his job after he saw a pile of dog collars being burned and his own dog was stolen.

The Department of Agriculture has been severely criticized for weak enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Veterinary inspectors, who are in charge of visiting and reporting on research facilities, and lay inspectors responsible for the treatment of animals by dealers, have often complained over the years that their recommendations have not been followed by upperlevel USDA personnel.

Undue influence by commercial and academic institutions has frustrated the men and women in the field who see with their own eyes the animals and the conditions they are forced to endure. There can be little doubt that the best of the inspectors, given the opportunity to pursue strict enforcement of the law, would have achieved much greater reduction of animal suffering, as intended by the Congress when it passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (later renamed the Animal Welfare Act) and its four subsequent amendments. The best inspectors have, nevertheless, achieved important improvements for great numbers of animals. They have access to every animal room in institutions that use warm-blooded animals for experimentation and testing. The only exceptions are mice, rats and birds, animals who are not included in the inspection and animal welfare requirements that have so far been promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture, although he has the authority to include them. A lawsuit calling for their inclusion succeeded but was lost in the Court of Appeals because of the intensive intervention of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR).

Within the last few years, USDA has stepped up enforcement and filed complaints against approximately 20 random source (Class B) dealers for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Despite this increased enforcement, the problem persists. "Bunchers," unlicensed dealers who supply random source dealers with animals, present insurmountable obstacles to USDA inspectors. Limited funding makes the needed "'tracebacks" of B dealers' records exceedingly unreliable. When records are checked, a substantial proportion of the alleged sources prove to be either nonexistent or false. The dogs and cats, meanwhile, have disappeared into oblivion. Not, however, without having suffered fear, pain, thirst and hunger at the whim of the different dealers through whose hands they pass in networks extending beyond state lines and sometimes clear across the country. Once, in a visit to a laboratory, Dorothy Dyce actually found a dog still wearing his identification tag and restored him to his loving family. The elimination of random source dealers who sell to laboratories would go far to raising American standards for the treatment of companion animals. It would also eliminate the substantial cost of the thankless effort to bring these dealers into compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. In 1993 alone, USDA spent nearly a million dollars in an attempt to regulate random source dealers.

As the American conscience continues to expand, the abuses inherent in the commercial animal trade become more and more intolerable. Undercover investigations have revealed the collusion and conspiracy indulged in by big dealers in wild-caught exotic birds who have smuggled African grey parrots from countries whose laws prohibit any export of these remarkably intelligent and talkative birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "Operation Renegade"" took years to reveal the true nature of the pet trade's chicanery and greed as they sacrificed great numbers of valuable birds to cut shipping costs. Not until nearly every airline in the world swore off the transport of wild-caught birds did the appalling mortality figures begin to drop. Without intense public outcry and hard, dangerous work by government employees, the wild-caught bird industry would have steamed along with business-as-usual, including such startling figures as 10,606 birds dead on arrival in a single huge shipment.

In 1981, Clark Bavin, the outstanding Chief of the FWS Law Enforcement Division, began a powerful sting operation against the criminals who were importing a great variety of exotic reptiles. Dubbed "'Snakescam," the division sent agents on a 14-state sweep to arrest 25 suspects and seize more than 1,000 illegally traded animals. That was just the beginning. A total of 96 individuals were subsequently convicted and sentenced to prison and/or ordered to pay fines in federal court.

The demand from private collectors was the major cause of the illegal reptile trade 15 years ago, but the desire by ordinary citizens to own an exotic animal has greatly increased.

The pet trade feeds on the deep-seated human desire to procure a creature of another species. Some native peoples will nurse a puppy and a child at the same time, and a large variety of different cultures keep birds in cages. Some engage in singing contests with their captives. Turtles and tortoises are the animals of choice in other parts of the world.

Great writers and public figures have made their own pets famous. Verlaine's cat; Lord Byron's Newfoundland dog, Bos'un; President Roosevelt's dog, Fala; Samuel Johnson's cat, Hodge; Queen Victoria's dog, Sharp; Gilbert White's tortoise, Timothy, are all well-known to readers.

John Keats mourned, "I had a dove, and the sweet dove died, and I have thought it died of grieving." George Sand released her doves as a child when she found they were anxious to fly away. Leonardo da Vinci went to the markets where wild birds were sold, bought them and then released them.

The heartfelt individual protest of this great genius against the commercialization of wild birds for pets set an example that nations of the world have been slow to follow. But the very excesses of the modern pet trade, grown to huge proportions in industrialized countries, have led to the necessity for curbs on its overwhelming greed.

Commerce in animals sold to laboratories for experiments and tests is similarly massive and lucrative. It requires effective law enforcement and determined government intervention to protect the animals who have no other recourse from willful persecution and abject neglect.

I hope this book will help its readers to visualize the pain and sorrow of each animal and to demand that they be fairly and justly treated.


Animals and Their Legal Rights

A Survey of American Laws
from 1641 to 1990

With Chapters by
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA
Bianca Beary, Fay Brisk, Diane Halverson Emily Stewart Leavitt,
Cathy Liss, Shirley McGreal, Greta Nilsson,
Valerie Stanley, Christine Stevens, and Pearl Twyne.

Animal Welfare Institute



Introduction to the Original Edition

Chapter I
by Emily Stewart Leavitt and Diane Halverson

Chapter II
by The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture

Chapter III
by Emily Stewart Leavitt, Updated and Revised by Diane Halverson

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI
DOGS by Christine Stevens

Chapter VII
by Emily Stewart Leavitt and Christine Stevens

Chapter VIII
by Pearl Twyne, Updated and Revised by Valerie Stanley

Chapter IX
by Christine Stevens and Diane Halverson

Chapter X

Chapter XI
MARINE MAMMALS by Christine Stevens

Chapter XII
BIRDS by Greta Nilsson

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV
by Emily Stewart Leavitt and Bianca Beary

Chapter XVI
AGENCIES by Emily Stewart Leavitt and Diane Halverson


Anti-Cruelty Laws Prohibiting Inhumane Transport of Animals,Penalties
Time Limit in State Laws for Transporting Animals Without Food,Water and Rest
Alabama, Article 5, Handling of Livestock in Markets
State Anti-Cruelty Laws Prohibiting Inhumane Transportation or Handling of Poultry

Federal Humane Slaughter Act
Federal Meat Inspection Act

Foreign Laws on Animal Welfare, Slaughter, and Transportation
Summary of Foreign Anti-Cruelty Laws and Humane Slaughter Laws
British Transit of Animals Order of 1973 (as amended 1988)
European Convention for the Protection of Animals During International Transport
European Parliament, Resolution on Animal Welfare Policy
Council of the European Communities, Directive on Stunning of Animals Before Slaughter
European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes
European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter
British Animals, Prevention of Cruelty, The Welfare of Calves Regulations 1987
Summary of 1988 Swedish Animal Protection Law
Extracts from the Criminal Code of Canada
Regulation of Steel Jaw Traps in Europe

Foreign Laws on Laboratory Animals
Summary of Foreign Laboratory Animal Welfare Laws
British Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
Summary of 1987 French Decree on Animal Experimentation
Federal Republic of Germany, Law on Animal Protection
Council of the European Communities, 1986 Council Directive on Animal Experimentation
The Australian Animal Welfare Movement, Legislation
Excerpt from the 1986 Australian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations

Dog Theft
Laws on Dog Stealing
Penalties for Conviction of Dog Larceny

Greased Pig Contests and Turkey Scrambles
Rules Governing Horse and Ox Pulling Contests,
Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture
An Act Prohibiting the Administering of Drugs to Horses
Participating in Contests at Agricultural Fairs
State Laws Prohibiting Use of Live Birds as Targets to be Shot At
Shooting at Caged or Staked Animals

Captive Primates and Other Wildlife
Florida's Regulations Concerning Captive Wildlife
AAZPA Zoo Standards for the Housing of Non-Human Primates

Citizen Action
Regulatory Enforcement and Animal Care (REAQ Staff
Veterinarians in Charge, U. S. Department of Agriculture
Laws Permitting Citizen Entry to Relieve a Confined, Neglected Animal
Procedure for Citizen Request of Cruelty Investigation in the State of Minnesota

Oklahoma Dog and Cat Sterilization Act
Responsibility of a Motorist Striking an Animal
Pet Ownership in Assisted Rental Housing for the Elderly or Handicapped
Sale of Animals, State of New Jersey
States Prohibiting Use of the High Altitude Decompression Chamber
Biological Experiments on Living Subjects by Students, Grades K through 12, State of Florida
List of CITES Party Nations
State Law Libraries
The Albert Schweitzer Medal of the Animal Welfare Institute
Some Publications of the Animal Welfare Institute
Hearings on Animal Protective Bills, 1956- 1989
Reading List.

by Emily Stewart Leavitt

Have you ever paused to consider how you and your neighbors regard animals? To one man, animals are mere things to be used in any way that he wishes; to a second man, animals are seen indistinctly and without much interest but are acknowledged to deserve decent treatment; to a third man, animals are fellow mortals with individual natures that can be developed and enjoyed even while being used as helpers or companions.

Time was when the only massive group attitude was that animals are no more than things. For instance, in 1782, Soame Jenyns (1704- 1787) writes:

    The carman drives his horse, and the carpenter his nail by repeated blows; and as long as these produce the desired effect, and they both go, they neither reflect nor care whether either of them have any sense of feeling. The butcher knocks down the stately ox with no more compassion than the blacksmith hammers a horseshoe, and plunges his knife into the throat of the innocent lamb with as little reluctance as the tailor sticks a needle into the collar of a coat ... there is scarce one who entertains the least idea that justice or gratitude can be due to their merits or their services.

    In 1885, Philip Austin argues that animals have no rights:
    they are our slaves, not our equals, and for this reason it is well to keep up such practices as hunting and fishing, driving and riding, merely to demonstrate in a practical way man's dominion over the brutes ... It is found that an advocacy of the rights of brutes is associated with the lowest phases of morality

Happily, however, an article on "The Lower Animals" in the Catholic Dictionary by Addis and Arnold, 1884, softens this point of view:

    as the lower animals have no duties, since they are destitute of free will ... so they have no rights ... The brutes are made for man ... But a limitation must be introduced here. It is never lawful for a man to take pleasure directly in the pain given to brutes, because in doing so, man degrades and brutalizes his own nature.

J. B. Austin, in 1887, advocates humaneness on the ground that animals, though not reasoning beings, are "sensitive beings"; and that by cultivating the faculty of sympathy and by considering that sensibility to pain is common to both man and animals, we soon perceive that to inflict needless and unjust pain upon animals is to sin against one's own nature, and therefore to commit a crime.

Also, Cardinal Henry E. Manning (1808-1892), in a letter dated July 13, 1891, writes: "We owe ourselves the duty not to be brutal or cruel; and we owe to God the duty of treating all His creatures according to His own perfections of love and mercy." So we see the beginning of justice to animals emerging, not through a concern for animals, but through a consciousness of man's obligation to his own nature.

To take the third step forward, we find that, even as early as 1791, there are those who hold a really humane feeling for animals. George Nicholson (17601825), an English printer, expresses concern thus:

    treat the animals which is in your power, in such a manner as you would willingly be treated were you such an animal ... May we learn to recognize and to respect, in other animals, the feelings which vibrate in ourselves.

The Rev. J. G. Wood, in 1874, makes an actual plea for the immortality of animals:

    the lower animals share with man the attributes of Reason, Language, Memory, a sense of moral responsibility, Unselfishness, and Love, all of which belong to the Spirit and not to the body.

These and other voices, crying in the wilderness of man's unconcern for creatures other than himself, were sowing the seed for stronger and more forceful advocates who would push through mere philosophical pleading to actual legislation on the behalf of animals.

Legislation is the record, printed and public, which expresses the moral conscience of a people. Laws may be pointed out, with the comment, "Here it is in black and white, voted by the majority; you must abide by it or pay the penalty.,' Therefore, when, among English-speaking peoples, the voices began to clamor for actual legislation to protect animals, real help was in sight. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English barrister whose book, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, first published in 1780, is regarded as a classic by law students today. In this book (pages 310-11) within a footnote entitled "Interests of the inferior animals improperly neglected in legislation by the insensibility of the ancient jurists," Bentham argues realistically in defense of animals' rights at the same time he is arguing realistically in defense of human rights:

    If [animals] being eaten were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to eat such of them as we like to eat: we are the better for it, and they are never the worse. They have none of those long protracted anticipations of future misery that we have. The death they suffer in our hands commonly is, and always may be, a speedier, and by that means a less painful one, than that which would await them in the inevitable course of nature. If the being killed were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to kill such as molest us: we should be the worse for their living, and they are never the worse for being dead. But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several ... The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. (Lewis XIVth's Code Noir.) It may come one day to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for Abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversible animal than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

Considering that the year is 1780, this reasoning is astonishingly advanced. There are people today who will not accept this fundamental logic; for example, some scientists, who, against all sense and logic, persuade themselves and others that animals do not feel.

Fortunately, Jeremy Bentham's attitude was echoed and strengthened by his Scottish friend, Lord Thomas Erskine (1750-1823), in a speech before the House of Peers in 1809:

    Nothing is more notorious than that it is not only useless, but dangerous, to poor suffering animals, to reprove their oppressors, or to threaten them with punishment. The general answer, with the addition of bitter oaths and increased cruelty is, WHAT IS THAT TO YOU?

    If the offender be a servant, he curses you, and asks if you are his master? and if he be the master himself, he tells you that the animal is his own. . . Animals are considered as property only --To destroy or to abuse them, from malice to the proprietor, or with an intention injurious to his interest in them, is criminal-but the animals themselves are without protection -- the law regards them not substantively -- they have no RIGHTS!

Lord Erskine introduced the bill for the prevention of cruelty to animals into the House of Lords on 15 May 1809. The bill was passed by the lords but lost in the commons by 37 to 27, due to the sneers poured upon it by a member named Windham: "What a pretty figure shall we make in the world ... if in one column of the newspaper we read a story of commitments under the 'Cruelty to Animals Act,'and in another ... of a 'glorious run, five horses only being in at the death, of fifty started- several having died in the field.' If the horses be within the provision of the statute, the hounds are not, and at all events the 'rights of the fox'are violated with impunity." (What a revelation of the cruelties of the hunt!) Disappointing as the defeat must have been at the time to men of sensitivity, in the light of history their contribution was a sturdy stepping stone to actual legislation.

It fell to the lot of an Irishman, Richard Martin (1754-1834), to succeed in bringing the first English legislation to passage. Martin, representing County Galway in Parliament, was widely known for his love of animals. He was called "Humanity Martin" by his personal friend, King George IV. "Humanity Martin" was not only humane but also practical. He consulted a well-known expert, John Lawrence, to help him on the details of his bill.

John Lawrence (1753-1839), described as a "literary farmer," was an authority on agriculture and the management of domestic animals. From the alliance of these two humanitarians, Martin and Lawrence, came forth the first legislation in England for the prevention of cruelty to animals. It is known as "Martin's Act" (3 George IV Chap. 71) and was passed 22 July 1822. Entitled "An Act to prevent the cruel and improper Treatment of Cattle," it empowered Magistrates to inflict a penalty of 10 shillings to 5 pounds or imprisonment not exceeding three months on persons convicted of cruel treatment of "Horses, Mares, Geldings, Mules, Asses, Cows, Heifers, Steers, Oxen, Sheep and other Cattle."

Lawrence was a humanitarian who wrote thus in "A Philosophical Treatise on Horses and on the Moral Duties of Man towards the Brute Creation":

    Justice, in which are included mercy, or compassion, obviously refers to sense and feeling. Now is the essence of justice divisible? Can there be one kind of justice for men, and another for brutes? Or is feeling in them a different thing to what it is in ourselves? Is not a beast produced by the same rule, and in the same order of generation with ourselves? Is not his body nourished by the same food, hurt by the same injuries; his mind actuated by the same passions and affections which animate the human breast; and does not he, also, at last, mingle his dust with ours, and in like manner surrender up the vital spark to the aggregate, or fountain of intelligence? Is this spark, or soul, to perish because it chanced to belong to a beast? Is it to become annihilate? Tell me, learned philosophers, how that may possibly happen.


Environmental Enhancement
for Caged Rhesus Macaques:

a photographic documentation

Viktor Reinhardt & David Seelig

Animal Welfare Institute



Animate Environmental Enhancement

Adult/infant pairs
Adult/adult pairs
Human Interaction
Training to Cooperate

Inanimate Environmental Enrichment

Gnawing Stick
Food Puzzle

Applications for Other Macaque Species



About the Authors

About the Animal Welfare Institute


Keeping intelligent social animals, such as this rhesus macaque, permanently in barren cages is unacceptable for ethical, professional and scientific reasons (Yerkes 1925; Animal Welfare Institute 1979; Chance et al 1983; O'Neill 1987; Novak & Drewsen 1989; Segal 1989; Line et al 1990a; Bernstein 1991; de Waal 1991; Canadian Council on Animal Care 1993; International Primatological Society 1993; van Akker et al 1994). The federal Animal Welfare Act (United States Department of Agriculture 1991) requires therefore that:

Dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities must develop, document, and follow an appropriate plan for environmental enhancement adequate to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates. This plan must be in accordance with the currently accepted professional standards as cited in appropriate professional journals or reference guides, and as directed by the attending veterinarian.

The senior author was employed as attending veterinarian and ethologist for ten years at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center.

Defining improved psychological well-being as:

  • having the option to actively express species-typical behavioral patterns that were formerly inhibited due to a lack of appropriate stimuli,
  • and experiencing less fear/distress in the presence of care personnel, the author developed and implemented the following environmental enhancement plan for the Center's colony of approximately 700 caged rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).

This collection of photos can also be accessed on the internet at:


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Alternative Traps

by Tom Garrett

Animal Welfare Institute


Foreword by Christine Stevens

The Role of Cage and Box Traps in Modern Trapping


Section One: Cage Traps

Terrestrial Cages
European Cages
Muskrat Culverts
Raft traps
Hinged Beaver Traps

Section Two: Box Traps

Portable Box Traps
Log Box Traps
Carnivores (Order Carnivorae)
Order Rodentia (Rodents)
Order Marsupalia
Order Edentata (Xenarthra)
Order Artiodactyla


The Role of Spring Powered Killing Traps in Modern Trapping


Section One: Varieties Of Killing Traps

The Gibbs Two Trigger
The Conibear Trap
Improved Conibears
The Gabry Traps

Section Two: Killing Traps in the Field

Terrestrial Use of Conibears
The Challenger
Mosher Necksnare
Aquatic Use of Conibears
The Louisiana Bayous


The Role of Legsnares in Modern Trapping


Mechanically Activated Legsnares

Section One: Common Snares

Section Two: Spring Arm (Aldrich Type) Legsnares

The Fremont Legsnare

Section Three: The Aberg Snare

Section Four: The Godwin And Belisle Legsnares

The Godwin Legsnare
The Belisle Legsnare
Snare Traps

Section Five: Technical Factors in Humaneness and Efficiency

Snare Cable Diameter
Cable Coating
Absorption Springs
Snare Locks
Non- Target Captures
Adverse Weather



Apologists for the steel jaw leghold trap often insist that they wouldn't use this most commonly employed animal capture device if only there were a substitute. To counter this beguiling but false assertion, the Animal Welfare Institute decided to publish a factual account of the many different instruments available, the majority of which inflict far less pain on their victims.

Tom Garrett, an engineer by training, a writer, conservationist, and humanitarian by avocation, agreed to prepare monographs on the three main categories of trap. These were published in 1988 and 1990 and have been brought up to date and republished in this 1996 edition as a public service to all concerned with the lessening of pain for animals, and especially for the government officials who require trustworthy information to make sound, humane decisions.

As we go to press, decisions are pending in Europe, the United States and Canada on the import ban which was unilaterally delayed and undermined by the European Commission on the mere threat by Canada that it would challenge (with U.S. cooperation) the Regulation's import ban under the World Trade Organization's NTO) free trade rules. The Commission's action was unprecedented and raises major constitutional questions. Meanwhile, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Pimenta Report, which stands firm for the content of the Regulation while adding to its acceptability visa vi the WTO. However, the Commission is expected to fight hard against the import ban, and both the Parliament and the Council of Ministers will be obliged to respond and vote again on the Regulation and its implementation before the end of the year.

The Grand Council of the Cree Indians are urging Canada to accept the import ban. They use few leghold traps, preferring killing traps, and are prepared to give legholds up entirely. But the United States and Canada are engaging In various secret meetings in which leghold trap advocates try their hand at substituting for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in creating "internationally agreed humane trapping standards." The ISO tried for eight years to achieve such standards but failed to reach agreement.

In the midst of this turmoil, we offer a factual document with hope it will be used to prevent the unnecessary cruelty caused by the leghold trap in Canada and the United States, whose Department of Agriculture owns 30,000 of these agonizingly painful devices.

--Christine Stevens
President, Animal Welfare Institute