Position Statement:

Where trapping is carried out for any reason, Humane Canada™ accepts only the use of trapping devices that cause prompt irreversible loss of consciousness leading to death, or cage/box-type traps which work on the principle of live capture that causes the least pain, suffering, stress or injury to the trapped animal. Humane Canada™ opposes restraining traps that are designed to hold an animal by a limb or other body part. Only the most humane trap for a particular species should be used.

Humane Canada™ acknowledges the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) for specific fur-bearing species, and encourages its application, enforcement and continued improvement. Trapping of all species not included in the AIHTS, as a minimum, should be subject to the same trapping criteria. The AIHTS and the ISO Standards for Killing and Restraining Traps must be upgraded every five years to reflect improved criteria applicable to humane trapping devices and sets.


Humane Canada™ acknowledges that animals — wild or domestic — are trapped for a number of reasons, including for their fur, to control animals in conflict with humans (including an activity commonly referred to as “pest control”) and as a population management strategy.

Notwithstanding the improvements resulting from the application of AIHTS and ISO trapping criteria, many trapped animals will continue to suffer from injury, pain, trauma and suffering in existing restraining and killing traps, reflecting the need for concerted efforts to develop and implement the use of improved and species-specific killing traps that cause instant death or rapid, irreversible loss of consciousness and insensibility before death.


Humane Canada™ urges trapping organizations and government officials in Canada to:

  • Exercise responsible leadership and to enact and enforce all appropriate humane trapping legislation, regulations and Trappers’ Code of Ethics
  • Provide comprehensive education of new trappers in humane trapping practices, and to provide regular mandatory upgrading programs

  • Additionally, we recommend these requirements:
    • set traps be inspected at least once every 24 hours, and at least once every 6 hours in urbanized areas between dawn and dusk
    • only cage/box-type traps be used within 1,000 meters of a residence in urbanized areas
    • all persons commercially engaged in the resolution of human/wildlife conflict concerns be licensed and be required to complete appropriate educational requirements equivalent to those applicable to licensed trappers
    • all traps, except cage/box-type traps and instant-kill rodent traps, only be available from authorized outlets to licenced trappers
    • the sale and use of glue boards or similar devices be prohibited
    • the sale of restraining traps be gradually phased out as killing traps to replace them are developed and approved
    • clear instructions be provided with all traps explaining legal requirements, proper setting, use, location, environmental predator protection, visitation periods and release or dispatch of trapped animals
    • trappers regularly check and maintain their traps in good working order to ensure proper functioning and to minimize injury to animals in the traps

  • Resources should be provided to develop and test traps that:
    • improve the welfare of trapped animals, particularly of animals captured in “restraining traps”, taking into account adequate standards of care, such as shelter and water for animals in live traps
    • will replace live-holding traps (which are not cage or box-type traps) with traps that produce instant death or rapid onset of irreversible loss of consciousness leading to death
    • minimize the capture of non-targeted species
    • provide for user safety
Read our position statement on trapping.
Humane Canada (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, representing the largest animal welfare community in Canada.