If these cruel traps were judged by the agony they inflict, they would never be justified.

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                       Conibear Trap

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Conibear Traps These are the most dangerous to your pet. The ODFW has to date supplied no information on how to free your pet from this or any other trap, but refers citizens to links from other states. The following information comes from

the Nova Scotian Government and the Wisconsin Dept. Of Natural Resources.

In Oregon, traps with up to a 9" jaw spread are legal to use on dry land. Known by their ID number as 280 traps, these are nearly impossible to open by hand, and in fact in many other states their use except in water is prohibited to avoid trapping non-targeted animals, including dogs.


Twisting 90° takes the pressure off the animal's windpipe.

These traps have a square frame with two rotating jaws. Larger versions typically have two springs. These traps are designed to strike small to medium- sized animals in the neck or body and kill them quickly.

If your pet is caught in a body-gripping trap of the 160 to 280 size, you have a brief amount of time to safely release the animal. It is important to act as quickly as possible.

STEP 1: Immediately squeeze both springs and twist the trap so the jaws are not placing pressure on the animal's windpipe.

STEP 2:  Squeeze together one of the springs using both hands until you're able to fasten the the safety lock over the arm of the spring. This releives the pressure from one side of the trap.

STEP 3: Repeat the same process for the other spring.

STEP 4: Slide the animal's head from between the jaws of the trap.

With #280 and (depending on your strength) #220 Conibear traps, the above procedure will not work and you must try the rope trick. You must be very quick to prevent strangulation. In some cases the animal will be killed instantly.

THE ROPE TRICK: If you cannot squeeze the the springs of the trap together, a 4 foot piece of rope, belt or leash can increase your leverage.

STEP 1: Thread the leash/rope through the two rings of one spring. The rings are located where the springs meet the rotating jaws.

STEP 2: Bring the leash/rope around and thread it through the initial ring far enough to provide a good "handle."

STEP 3: Put your foot on one end and pull the free end. PULL HARD! This will compress the spring so the safety lock can be engaged. Repeat on the second spring.


    Video of animals in traps.

  This is what really happens

View a photo of the effect of a Conibear trap.  WARNING: graphic content

Pet-release Brochure

Download and print a brochure (pdf) on how to free your pet from a trap.

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Baited Conibear Trap     click to enlarge