The AVMA opposes the use of conventional (non-padded, non-offset) steel jawed foothold traps (also called leghold traps).
When the capture of wildlife must occur (e.g. for management or research purposes), humane traps and techniques should be employed that minimize injury, stress, pain, and suffering to wildlife while also seeking to avoid capture of non-target animals. The AVMA recommends that trappers should be trained to use traps and techniques correctly and traps should be checked at least once every 24 hours.
The AVMA encourages active research on improvement of capture devices and trapping methods for wildlife, taking into regard the provision of good welfare. Anyone using traps should refer to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Policy for Best Management Practices for Trapping in the United States*.
*Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Best Management Practices in the U.S. http://fishwildlife.org/?section=best_management_practices accessed March 25, 2017.
Welfare Implications of Leghold Trap Use in Conservation and Research