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Many are unaware that trapping still exists. Traps kill more than 52,000 furbearing wild animals every year. And for what? Ornaments or trim? Most Montana fur goes to China and Russia. Countless non-target animals are maimed and killed every year. These unintended victims include owls, eagles, dogs, moose, and elk.

Initiative 177 would not affect private property, 2/3 of our state, nor the use of traps by state wildlife officials. Private citizens are not trapping for the greater good; that’s the job of public officials. Opposition to the initiative relies on out of state special interests. Recent official numbers from Helena reveal that trappers received 27 percent of their money from out of state, $10,000 at a time. I-177 received 95 percent of their funds from Montanans, and less than 1 percent from special interest or large groups. Nothing from PETA.

Wild animals have no well-funded lobby. They’re relying on citizens who believe trapping is no longer appropriate in modern times. Animals suffer unimaginable agony in a trap and traps have pushed lynx and wolverine to the brink of extinction.

Residents and visitors value seeing animals alive rather than as pelts. Please vote “yes” on 177.

Margee Ten Eyck

Belgrade

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