Displaying items by tag: Born Free USA

Born Free Calls on UK Government to Implement Ivory Trade Ban Without Delay

UK ivory ban must inspire further international measures, take the commerce out of the ivory trade and pay attention to the plight of other ivory-bearing endangered species

Horsham, England -- March 4, 2018 ­-- Born Free today welcomes the long-awaited announcement of a ban on the commercial trade in elephant ivory within, to and from the United Kingdom. However, Born Free is seeking greater clarity about the appointment of a special regulator who will manage the accreditation of exempt items.

Born Free's co-founder and President, Will Travers OBE, said: "We applaud the government for its recognition of the need for the U.K., which has been the largest exporter of ‘legal’ ivory items in recent years, to take action on commercial ivory trade. African elephant range states, the international conservation community, and the British public, have all been calling for a comprehensive ban as the only way to help end the poaching epidemic which threatens the very future of wild elephants. We implore Parliament to pass the proposed measures into law without delay.”

Born Free believes the proposed online ivory registration process establishes, importantly, that the burden of proof now resides with the applicant. Furthermore, the range of penalties and fines for those who offend should have a suitably deterrent effect.

According to the government, the provenance of items exempted due to their rarity or cultural/historical importance, will be determined by independent advisors who will be accountable for their decisions.

Travers said: “In practice, it will be essential that anyone who seeks to trade ivory or facilitate the trade in ivory – including those who are responsible for its certification – must be held to account. Only a robust and highly precautionary approach will prevent these exemptions becoming loopholes that traffickers can exploit.”

Exempt items will include:

  • Items made before 1947 containing less than 10 percent of ivory by volume
  • Musical instruments containing less than 20 percent of ivory made before 1975
  • The “rarest and most important items” that are more than 100 years old, including portrait miniatures
  • Items traded between accredited museums.

Africa's elephant numbers have plummeted from perhaps 5 million a century ago, to less than half a million today, and upwards of 20,000 continue to be killed across the continent by poachers each year to supply criminal networks with ivory. Asian elephants, where only the males carry ivory and which number below 30,000, are also targeted for their tusks.

The U.K. has, in recent years, been the world's biggest exporter of legal ivory, largely in the form of antique worked items which have been in big demand among Asian buyers. This trade stimulates demand for ivory products and provides traffickers with a means by which they can launder new ivory from recently slaughtered elephants into trade.

Travers concluded: “Ending legal commercial trade in all ivory products is vital if we are to provide hope for beleaguered elephant populations. We need all countries that continue to operate legal markets and act as sources of ivory in international trade to step up and introduce similar measures to those announced here in the U.K. and, in particular, we urge the European Commission to announce far tougher restrictions on trade within, between and from EU countries without delay.

“We must also take into account the impact that closing elephant ivory trade and markets could have on other ivory-bearing species. For example, indications are that trade in poached hippo ivory is on the rise and official data confirms that since 2006 more than 50,000 kilograms of hippo ivory was released into trade – this from a species that may number as few as 130,000 individuals. Tackling the trade in ivory from other threatened species, such as hippos, narwhals and walruses, needs to be part of our immediate plan.”

Born Free has been campaigning for a global ban on commercial trade in all ivory products since 1989. The charity's advocacy, awareness-raising and public mobilization efforts have played a major part in informing recent decisions and persuading the UK government to take action. Born Free will continue with these efforts until the poaching of elephants and other ivory-bearing species has been brought to an end, and their future secured.

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The concept of conservation through hunting big game animals has no merit, Prashant Khetan, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel at Born Free USA, an animal advocacy organization, recently told CNN.

Born Free USA is leading the resistance against trophy hunting. From speaking out against the lifting of the federal ban on importing elephant trophies from two African nations to making the case on the CNN documentary “Trophy,” Born Free USA champions the humane treatment of animals and condemns barbaric practices.

Prashant is scheduled to participate in a debate on trophy hunting tonight at 9 p.m. on CNN. “Trophy” will air on the network at 9 p.m. this Sunday. On Thursday, CNN.com posted an article on the issue in advance of the documentary.

With more attention being placed on trophy hunting, it is important that Born Free USA speak out with passion and reason.

 

 

 

Leading animal advocacy non-profit releases 2017 Trapping Report analyzing animal trapping laws

WASHINGTON – September 22, 2017 – Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, today released its 2017 Trapping Report, which assigns a letter grade to each of the 50 U.S. states based on the existence and effectiveness of the state’s animal trapping regulations on animal welfare, wildlife conservation and public safety.

“Indiscriminate body-crushing traps are used to capture or kill furbearing animals who are deemed a ‘nuisance’ or who are valued only for the fur on their backs,” said Prashant K. Khetan, CEO and general counsel for Born Free USA. “In many instances, animals are caught in these brutal traps, but remain trapped for days, slowly dying while subject to the elements, other animals, physical pain and emotional torture. And both targeted and non-targeted animals—including household pets and endangered species—fall victim to these traps. While our report card applauds the states that are leading the way to end trapping, we must also ask ourselves, ‘what kind of a society allows this senseless butchering of our beloved wildlife to continue year after year?’ It must end. And end now.”

The report card is compiled by reviewing the laws of each individual state on a variety of different trapping-related topics and then, using a weighted point system, assigning individual letter grades and a final weighted grade to each state. Grades also include positive marks for prohibiting the trapping of bobcats and otters, two species native to most states but vulnerable to overexploitation.

According to Born Free USA’s analysis, only four states received an “A” grade or better:

1.       California

2.       Colorado

3.       Hawaii

4.       Washington

Conversely, 14 states received an “F” grade:

1.       Alaska

2.       Arkansas

3.       Idaho

4.       Iowa

5.       Louisiana

6.       Missouri

7.       Montana

8.       Nevada

9.       North Carolina

10.   North Dakota

11.   South Dakota

12.   Texas

13.   Virginia

14.   Wyoming

“As the report clearly shows, most states don’t have good laws on trapping,” Khetan said. “We’re working to shed light on the issue and help the states who are most interested in turning around their legislation.”

For those who are interested in standing up against trapping, Khetan recommends that they:

  • Learn more about the anti-trapping and anti-fur movement here
  • Write their government representatives to encourage them to enact and enforce better laws, including to prevent trapping on public lands
  • Support fur free products/retailers
 
 

To view the 2017 Trapping Report Card, as well as the full report, visit http://www.bornfreeusa.org/trappingreportcard.

About Born Free USA

Born Free believes that every animal matters. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, Born Free, we work locally, nationally and internationally on the conservation frontlines, in communities, classrooms, courtrooms and the halls of Congress, to end wild animal cruelty and suffering, and protect threatened wildlife. Born Free USA also operates one of the country’s largest wildlife sanctuaries, which provides a permanent home for 600 primates. Many are retired from research facilities, some rescued from inhumane conditions at circuses, zoos and private ownership. They have often endured a lifetime of abuse, neglect and cruelty. But at our sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, they are safe and live free.

Launched in 2002, Born Free USA is inspired by Virginia McKenna and her (late) husband Bill Travers, who, along with their son, Will, founded The Born Free Foundation (UK) in 1984. Their experience in Kenya filming the classic 1966 Academy Award-winning film Born Free, the story of Joy and George Adamson’s fight to successfully return Elsa the lioness to a wild and free life, launched the couple’s Compassionate Conservation movement, aimed at keeping wildlife in the wild. This movement continues to motivate millions of followers and activists across the globe. In 2007, Born Free USA merged with the Animal Protection Institute.

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Thousands of big cats are kept as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2017) – Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud U.S. Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) for introducing the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818). The bill would advance animal welfare and protect public safety by prohibiting possession and breeding of tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors.

This bill would strengthen the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, the existing federal law passed unanimously in 2003, by closing the loopholes that allow private possession of big cats by unqualified individuals. Existing owners that do not qualify for an exemption may keep the big cats they currently possess so long as they notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bill provides for reasonable exemptions for wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and the animals.

According to Kate Dylewsky, program associate at Born Free USA, “This common sense and narrowly-crafted bill is an urgently-needed solution to the problem of big cats kept in unsafe and abusive situations around the country. Thousands of big cats are currently owned as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos. These poorly regulated facilities — with animals kept in basements, cement pits, or in backyards — pose a severe risk to the safety of people in surrounding communities, as well as the welfare of the cats themselves.”

Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for The Humane Society of the United States, said, “Tigers, lions, and other big cats should not be kept in peoples’ homes or backyards. In order to protect the public, there needs to be strong oversight of these private owners who, in most cases, do not have the expertise needed to properly care for these animals in captivity. Some states have little to no laws regarding the keeping of big cats and it’s time for a uniform federal law that ends this dangerous industry once and for all.”

Carson Barylak, campaigns officer at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, noted that “there are now more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than remain in the wild, and nearly all of them are denied proper veterinary care, nutrition and enrichment.” Moreover, “law enforcement officers and other first responders — including those who have encountered these deadly animals in the course of their work — have joined animal rescue and conservation advocates in supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Emergency officials and the communities that they protect, much like the big cats themselves, should not be placed in harm’s way by a private owner’s irresponsible decision to keep big cats.”

"Relying on accredited sanctuaries to take in unwanted and usually neglected big cats is not a viable solution," said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. "When individuals foolishly acquire big cats as pets or exploit them in entertainment businesses, the cats often suffer in deplorable conditions with inadequate nutrition and veterinary care for many years. Then when owners realize they are not equipped to take care of a big cat or no longer want them, the burden to house and care for these big cats falls upon sanctuaries. This is not the solution; it does not address the inhumane treatment of the cats nor the public safety issues."

Facts:

  • There have been more than 700 dangerous incidents in the U.S. involving tigers, lions, and cougars, including hundreds of human injuries, maulings and deaths. In many cases, the animals were shot and killed, often by first responders who are not trained to deal with these situations. The most dramatic example was an October 2011 incident in Zanesville, Ohio, in which a private exotic animal owner released 38 big cats near a populated area, requiring law enforcement to kill the cats — and risk their own lives — for the sake of public safety.
  • Big cats are wild animals and suffer when kept as pets. They are often purchased as babies, and private owners typically are not able to manage them once they’re fully grown. Consequently, the animals are frequently left to languish in grossly substandard conditions and often deprived of sufficient space, adequate veterinary care, a nutritious diet and enrichment.
  • It is standard procedure for some roadside zoos to separate babies from their mothers so they can charge the public to pet and play with the cubs. This is an inhumane and unhealthy practice that can cause lifelong physical and psychological problems — or even death — for the cubs. Young cats, who very quickly outgrow their usefulness in the cub handling industry, end up warehoused at substandard “zoos,” sold into the exotic pet trade or possibly even killed and sold for parts — all while a vicious cycle of constant breeding churns out more babies to be exploited.

Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for abused and abandoned exotic cats. Located in Tampa, Fla., Big Cat Rescue is home to approximately 80 exotic cats, most of whom were abandoned by owners who mistakenly thought they made good pets, abused, seized by authorities, orphaned or retired from performing acts. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide the best possible home for the cats in our care and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in captivity and in the wild. www.BigCatRescue.org

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.org

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare): Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

Third bill this month involving animal traps

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA announced its support for the introduction yesterday of the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) Act (H.R. 1727) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This bill would not only prohibit all officials and contractors of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using leghold traps, Conibear traps, and snares in the line of duty, but would also ban the use or possession of such traps on all land managed by the DOI or USDA. The bill includes limited exceptions, including for endangered species protection and invasive species control, but requires non-lethal management methods to be used and documented first.

The reintroduction of this bill comes within the same month as the reintroduction of the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 1438, introduced March 8) and the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 1629, introduced March 20).

According to Jennifer Place, Program Associate for Born Free USA, “Steel-jaw leghold traps, snares, and Conibear traps are exceedingly cruel and dangerously indiscriminate. They have no place on land set aside to preserve our wildlife and vast expanses of wilderness. They also have no place in the wildlife management toolbox. These devices are archaic, brutal, and ineffective. While they kill tens of thousands of animals, they do not solve the underlying human/wildlife conflict, and instead frequently exacerbate that conflict. It is time to eliminate the use of these traps on federal lands and by federal employees.”

“In Oregon and across the country, pets and wild animals fall victim to the indiscriminate cruelty of inhumane body-gripping traps,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “I am reintroducing the LIFT Act to require federal agencies to prioritize use of humane methods, and to stop the use of cruel traps on public lands, including by USDA’s Wildlife Services.”

The LIFT Act would prevent USDA Wildlife Services from using any injurious or lethal trap in the line of duty. Wildlife Services routinely kills two million to five million animals annually in the name of “wildlife management.” In 2016, the agency reported killing approximately 2.7 million animals, more than 50,000 of whom first suffered in a crushing or suffocating trap.

This vital bill would also ban the use of these traps on the nearly 700 million acres of federal public land managed by the DOI and USDA. Overseeing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Park Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Department of the Interior manages more than 500 million acres, or approximately one-fifth of all U.S. land, and 75% of all federal public land. The other 25% of federal public land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and equates to approximately 193 million acres.

“We thank Congressman Blumenauer for his leadership and urge the swift passage of H.R. 1727 to ensure that federal tax dollars are not being used to inhumanely trap wild animals, and that all of our public spaces are safe for people, their pets, and wildlife,” Place adds.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act comes after child gets caught in Conibear trap

Washington, D.C., March 21, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA announced its support for the reintroduction this week of the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 1629) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (D-NC) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). This important bill would ban the import, export, and interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear body-gripping traps. It comes as a result of a 2015 accident in North Carolina, in which a 12-year-old boy got his arm caught in a Conibear trap set near a neighborhood pond. It took six doctors several hours to free him from the trap.

According to Jennifer Place, Program Associate for Born Free USA, “We applaud and thank Congresswoman Adams and Congresswoman Lowey for their leadership on this legislation and urge its swift passage. Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps are archaic, indiscriminate, and horrific in their brutality. When triggered, they slam shut on their victims with bone-crushing force, causing massive pain and suffering not only to targeted wild animals, but also to endangered species, people’s pets, and children.”

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams said, “We can no longer afford to disregard the dangerous effects that antiquated body-gripping traps have on wildlife, pets, and people. These violent traps negatively impact our ecosystem and pose unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children. I am proud to introduce this important piece of legislation with my colleague, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, to protect our wildlife and our communities.”

“It is time to make dangerous body-gripping traps a thing of the past,” Congresswoman Lowey said. “These archaic, indiscriminately violent devices pose a serious threat to wild animals, pets, and people, and they must be banned in the United States. I am proud to stand with Congresswoman Adams in the fight to protect our ecosystems and our communities from these cruel and unnecessary traps.”

Although Conibear and leghold traps are legal in North Carolina, their use is severely restricted or prohibited in several states. While the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act would not alter any state’s own policies on trapping, it would ensure that these two notoriously dangerous traps do not cross state lines, especially into states with bans already in place. 

“Last month, a young man injured his arm in a Conibear trap illegally set near a playground in Chesterton, Indiana,” Place added. “It is clear that these traps not only endanger wildlife, but also compromise public safety. The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act will ensure that animals and people are able to enjoy our magnificent outdoor spaces without the risk of being caught—and possibly killed—in an indiscriminate and painful trap.”

Born Free USA encourages other members of Congress to join Representatives Adams and Lowey in support of H.R. 1629.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, announced support for the reintroduction of the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 1438) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). This bill would ban the use or possession of body-gripping animal traps including snares, Conibear traps, and steel-jaw leghold traps within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is clear: to be an inviolate sanctuary for our native wildlife. Dangerous, indiscriminate body-gripping traps simply have no place on these federal protected lands. The brutality of these traps cannot be overstated. Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps slam shut with bone-crushing force, causing massive injury and trauma. Animals trapped in strangulation neck snares—designed to tighten around an animal’s neck as he or she struggles—also suffer in extreme agony for an unconscionable amount of time. Born Free USA commends Congresswoman Lowey for leading the effort to end this cruelty and urges swift passage of the legislation to ensure that national wildlife refuges are safe havens for wildlife.”

“We must restore the true meaning of ‘refuge’ to the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “This critical legislation will ban indiscriminate body-gripping traps on public land, which not only endanger wild animals but also the millions of visitors who enjoy our nation’s 566 refuges each year. These violent devices are simply not worth the devastation of even one accident. It is past time we ensure the entire National Wildlife Refuge System remains safe for animals and families alike.”

The National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses the most comprehensive and diverse collection of fish and wildlife habitats in the world, and provides a home for more than 380 endangered species. Overall, the National Wildlife Refuge System harbors species of more than 700 birds, 220 mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, and 1,000 fish. Despite its mission “to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans,” more than half of all national wildlife refuges allow trapping on refuge grounds.

“More than 100 other countries have either severely restricted or outright banned the use of steel-jaw leghold traps. It is inexcusable to allow these and other cruel traps on land specifically set aside to be safe havens for wildlife. Additionally, the millions of people who visit national wildlife refuges every year with their families and companion animals should be able to enjoy American refuges without the fear of stepping into a cruel, hidden trap and getting injured or killed.” Roberts added.

Born Free USA urges other members of Congress to join Congresswoman Lowey in support of H.R. 1438.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

Donations to support injured and orphaned wildlife

Washington, D.C., March 2, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, announced the completion of its third annual Born Free USA Fur for the Animals campaign. The four-month donation drive collected 1,615 fur items from around the world to distribute to U.S. wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries, where they will be used to bring familiar warmth, comfort, and enrichment to orphaned, injured, and rescued wildlife.

The number of fur donations quadrupled from last year’s total. This year’s donations are valued at an estimated $3.7 million and represent approximately 53,000 animals who died for these products. While donations included the more common mink, rabbit, and fox coats and accessories, Born Free USA also received several vintage items made from imperiled and threatened species. Such items include a coat, hat, and muff made from Geoffroy’s cat (a small wild cat species found in South America), two Canada lynx pelts tagged by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and one CITES-tagged gray wolf pelt. Other noteworthy items include coats made from bobcat, otter, seal, and beaver.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are proud of the success of the Fur for the Animals initiative. Hundreds of items arrived at our office each week, and it is clear that this campaign is fulfilling an important need as the public becomes increasingly aware that any fur items are the result of misery and cruel death for millions of animals. Fur for the Animals allows people to give up their fur in a profound and satisfying way, repurposing these garments with positive effect: for animals.”

“All of the items are going to wildlife rehabilitation centers or sanctuaries, but Born Free USA—in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—will keep the vintage imperiled species items in order to raise awareness about the destructive and despicable international wildlife trade. Some of these species partially owe their vulnerable status to the demand for their parts and commercial products made from them,” Roberts explains.   

Born Free USA is sending fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country, including the following campaign partners:

  1. Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Locust Grove, Georgia
  2. Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Kendalia, Texas
  3. The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, Ramona, California
  4. Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., Lake Cormorant, Mississippi
  5. Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., Westcliffe, Colorado
  6. Thunder Eagle Wildlife, McKenney, Virginia

For a complete list, click here. Additional wildlife rehabilitation centers are encouraged to participate. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

Born Free USA commends the growing number of fashion retailers vowing to go fur free. In March 2016, the luxury brand Giorgio Armani announced it will remove real animal fur from its collections beginning with its Fall/Winter 2016 line. Armani is joining such brands as Hugo Boss, American Apparel, Esprit, H&M, Steve Madden, Marks & Spencer, and Topshop, among others that have pledged to produce only fur free merchandise.

Born Free USA is a member of the Fur Free Alliance: an international coalition of animal protection organizations working to bring an end to the exploitation and killing of animals for their fur. The Fur Free Alliance represents more than 40 animal protection organizations in 28 countries and millions of supporters worldwide. 

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Idaho and six other states targeted for much-needed reform

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2012 -- This week, Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, launched a new website at www.bornfreeusa.org/safetrails in order to educate and warn the public -- especially outdoor enthusiasts -- about the dangers of hidden wildlife traps and how to keep their pets and family members safe.

The new Safe Trails site contains information about the dangers of traps to companion animals and what people can do in emergencies, including how to release dogs from all types of traps.

The site also highlights regulatory safeguards that could go far in protecting the public, pets and wildlife from injury, and focuses on seven of the worst states when it comes to trapping regulations that have the greatest impact on animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and public safety: Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “Each year thousands of non-targeted animals, including domestic animals and protected wildlife species, are caught in traps throughout the U.S. We developed this site to help hikers, campers, and others enjoying the outdoors, learn about trapping and what can be done to keep everyone, including animals and children, safe from the dangers of these contraptions. The barbaric trapping industry has changed little since the 1600s. We do not want to see another person or pet become a victim.”

While many states allow the use of body crushing traps and snares on private and public land, Idaho continues to stand out among the worst states for failing to require that traps be checked at least once daily. In Idaho, traps need only be checked once every three days/72 hours. Trappers also catch non-target animals including endangered species, cats, and dogs. These animals have a better chance of survival if traps are checked at least once every 24 hours.

In addition, Idaho has no size restriction on Conibear kill traps. Like other body-gripping traps, Conibears are notoriously indiscriminate and pose a hazard to non-target species. Large-sized Conibears are particularly dangerous. Twenty states limit the size of Conibear trap on land to six inches or less or prohibit the use of Conibear traps on land all together.

Like the majority of states, Idaho trappers are not required to post any warning signage that would alert the public to stay away from set traps. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game encourages trappers to use a warning sign produced by the Idaho Trappers Association but does not require it.

Roberts says, “A majority of people surely visit Idaho public lands to observe wildlife, hike, walk their dogs, and enjoy nature. Most people would agree that Idaho public lands should protect wildlife and wildlife habitat and provide a safe opportunity to enjoy it. But many are unaware that traps might be present where they recreate. It is a recipe for disaster, and we hope that if this brutal industry continues to exist, that we can at least inform people, even if it means teaching them how to attempt to free their companion animal (or child) should they fall victim to a body-crushing trap. No one should ever have to face that horror.”

Wildlife traps are not only found in the deep wilderness, but also near hiking trails, in national wildlife refuges, on public and private lands where children play and dogs are walked, and even in urban areas. They are indiscriminate and can inflict serious injury – or death -- to any animal or person who is caught.

Born Free USA works to expose and address the dangers and cruelty of trapping by educating the public; encouraging legislators and policymakers to enact stronger laws; ensuring state agencies are enforcing existing protections; and championing humane alternatives of mitigating conflicts with wildlife. Born Free USA maintains an online database of reported incidents of non-targeted animals by state.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.