The World League for Protection of Animals
'Remember animals... they feel hunger, thirst, heat, cold, pain, fear and loneliness...'



How You Can Help

About WLPA

Contact WLPA



Australian Charity Fundraising Number (CFN): 12896


Call Today +61298174892   | Fax +61298174509  




Companion Animals

Free Living Cats


Kangaroo & Joey Orphanage

Exploited Wildlife


1080 Poison

Steel Jaw Traps


Bear Bile Farming


Animal Experiments



Media Releases

Coming Events


Animals and Humans

Animals and Humans

Adopt An Animal

Lost Animals

Children's Corner

Children's Corner

Search q




Steel Jaw Traps  

Traps are set mainly for dingoes/wild dogs and foxes. The traps inflict excruciating pain on these target animals, as well as many non-target animals, including kangaroos, wombats, possums, birds and lizards.

In Australia the cruel steel-jaw trap is banned in the ACT and NSW, although it is still widely used in other states. It is also banned in 68 countries around the world, and in some states of America.

Steel-jaw traps don't kill - they snap shut on the leg or other body part when the victims stand on them. Unless trappers very regularly check their traps and kill trapped animals, the victims will die slowly of dehydration, starvation or infection. In one study, 10% of dingoes died in the trap of exposure, exhaustion and shock. (1)

Professional Trappers

In Victoria and New South Wales, professional trappers had trap lines 25-75 kilometres long, with up to 50 traps per line (2). Daily checking of the traps was not possible with a long line, or in rugged country where checking had to be done on horseback. Farmers also set traps, and may or may not check them regularly. What this means is that any animal caught in a trap not only suffers pain and fear for a long time, but also hunger, thirst, and possibly heat exhaustion.

Steel-jaw traps inflict terrible injuries - imagine slamming a car door or your fingers. A study of trapped wolves in Alaska found that 41% had major injuries: large cuts, visible tissue damage, broken bones, severed tendons. In addition, 46% of the wolves had injuries to the mouth and teeth from trying to bite their way out of the trap (3).

Because steel-jaw traps are so cruel, researchers have tried to develop what they call a "humane" trap by attaching a rubber lining to the steel jaws.

Study of Trapped Coyotes

However, in a study of trapped coyotes in America, all legs had swelling and bruising, regardless of whether they were caught in steel-jaw or padded traps (4). Some types of injury, however, were less common in padded traps.


Steel-jaw trap

Padded trap

Ligament injuries



Broken bones



Lacerations more than 2cm






  1. Thomson P, "The behavioural ecology of dingoes in north-western Australia. I. The Fortescue River study area
    and details of captured dingoes", Wildlife Research, 1992, vol 19 (509-518)
  2. Newsome A et al, "The feeding ecology of the dingo 1. Stomach contents from trapping in south-eastern
    Australia, and the non-target wildlife also caught in dingo traps", Australian Wildlife Research ,
    1983, vol 10 (477-486)
  3. Van Ballenberghe V, "Injuries to wolves sustained during live capture", Journal of Wildlife Management ,
    1984, vol 48 (1425-1429)
  4. Olson G et al, "Injuries to coyotes caught in padded and unpadded steel foothold traps",
    Wildlife Society Bulletin , 1986, vol 14 (219-223)



Support Our Work

Donate to WLPA

Donate - Take action
and assist animals in distress


Donations $2 and over are tax deductible

Click here to donate in other ways

Become A Member

Click here to complete
membership details


Individual Membership -
AU$25 pa

Pensioner or Student Membership -

AU$10 pa

Family Membership -
AU$40 pa

WLPA Life Membership -

Become a Volunteer

Click here to apply...


Click here if you would like to help us continue providing for animals...

Donate Goods

Click here to find out what WLPA animals need...

Our Donors

Thank you to all those who help
in our work!


Home | How You Can Help | About WLPA | Contact WLPA | FAQ | Links | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site Map

Copyright 2010 The World League for Protection of Animals
For problems or questions regarding this Web Site contact