Protesters of the NH Animal Rights League (NHARL) picketed NH Fish and Game in Concord, NH, on Friday, November 23, 2012. This protest was in acknowledgment of Fur-Free Friday, the day on which animal advocates all around the globe educate holiday shoppers about the cruel fur industry.

The Fish and Game site was chosen because of the agency’s brutal fur trapping policy, allowing long trapping seasons and the cruel use of steel jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps, and drowning snares. Fur trapping in NH is a recreational activity which causes extreme pain and great suffering to animals. Its purpose is to generate income for Fish and Game through selling licenses. It supplies the marketplace with an unnecessary product that serves merely as a status symbol since we have many fabrics today which supply warmth to the wearer. Fur is no longer necessary.

Besides the pain endured by an animal tearing at his flesh and bones in order to escape from his trap, the cruelty of the trapper’s killing methods should not be overlooked. Fish and Game violates its own New Hampshire cruelty statute by choosing not to regulate the methods by which a trapper kills his victim--be it drowning, bludgeoning, or suffocating--all methods considered inhumane by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) under its euthanasia guidelines.

Coincidentally, and quite tragically, a bald eagle was caught in a leghold trap set by a licensed trapper and perhaps targeting a coyote, on the day before Thanksgiving in Salem, NH. Along with their extreme cruelty, leghold traps are indiscriminate and often catch unintended victims or “non-targets.” It is estimated that for every one targeted species, two non-targeted animals are caught in traps. Non-targeted animals include domesticated animals and many birds. The eagle that was trapped and released in Salem is just one incident that the public has been made aware of. More often than not, such incidents go unreported.

NHARL asks all shoppers not to buy products made of or trimmed with fur. Thank you for saving NH wildlife lives through your caring and humane actions.