CVMA | Documents | Trapping of Fur-Bearing Animals – Position Statement

Trapping of Fur-Bearing Animals – Position Statement

February 28, 2012


The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) accepts, in general, the use of trapping devices that are designed to cause rapid death or work on the principle of live capture that minimize pain, injury, and suffering. The CVMA supports the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) for specific fur-bearing species, as well as mandatory Canadian trapper educational programs, to advance humane trapping practices. The CVMA strongly supports continued development and improvement of humane traps for fur-bearing animals.


1.  The conservation and sustainable use of wildlife implies the need to care for the welfare of animals that are captured live or killed. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has urged IUCN member countries to adopt regulations setting out specific humane trapping practices to ensure that the most humane and selective techniques available are employed in the capture and/or killing of wild animals for research, management, commercial fur trade, or for population or disease control.

2.  In evaluating whether or not a trapping method is humane, the welfare and biology of the trapped animal must be scientifically assessed.

a.  Specific, measurable indicators of the welfare of trapped animals (e.g., physiologic parameters, degree of injury, behavioural reactions) have not been fully studied for a number of species, so extrapolation may be necessary from other species to maximize welfare.

3.  All live capture traps must be checked at minimum every 24 hours, as per AIHTS requirements.

4.  Since 2007 the only traps that may be used legally in Canada must be certified through the Canadian Trap Certification Program administered provincially.

a.  Unfortunately, several species that are currently trapped in Canada are not included

  i.  Standards should be developed for trapping of fox species, wolverine, and mink.

5.  The CVMA supports the ongoing development and refinement of national and international trapping standards.

6.  Notwithstanding that the trapping methods must meet requirements for certification, the CVMA encourages continuing improvement in the design and use of traps, in particular to:

a.  Improve the welfare of live animals trapped during the period of restraint

b.  Produce rapid onset of unconsciousness and insensibility of animals trapped in killing traps

c.  Minimize the capture of non-target species


  1. Annexes to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards, Annex 1, Part 1: The Standards. Official Journal of the European Communities, L42-47-53. 1998.
  2. Methods for Capturing and/or Killing of Terrestrial or Semi-aquatic Wild Animals, 18th session, General Assembly of the IUCN, Resolution 18.25. 1990.
  3. Traps Meeting Requirements of Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and Certification Status, Fur Institute of Canada. Updated December 2010.

(Revised February 2012)