Fur Institute updates "Certified Trap List" for 2019

AIHTS certified traps for Fisher trapping. Pictured (left to right) Belisle Super X 160, Koro #2, and Sauvageau 2001-6. (Photo | Furbearer Conservation)

The Fur Institute of Canada announced updates to their list of certified traps this week. The list of approved traps was updated by the Trap Research and Development Committee (TRDC).

You can view the updated list by clicking here.

Certification revolves around the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). In 1997, Canada ratified the AIHTS with the European Union and Russia. The AIHTS dictates welfare thresholds for trap performance requirements for 19 wild furbearing species (12 of which are common in North America). The United States has a similar Agreement with the European Union.

The AIHTS definition of Humane Trapping Methods states that certified traps regulated by competent authorities must be “in conformity with the AIHTS standards and used in setting conditions specified by the manufacturers.” Under the Agreement, traps used for the species listed are evaluated using rigorous scientific testing standards. Traps must meet AIHTS welfare requirements if they are to be used in Canada, the EU or Russia.

To meet the needed requirements for AIHTS trap certification, trap manufacturers must test any trapping device they intend to market for use in Canada. This includes mechanically powered, trigger activated lethal devices, as well as live capture foot-hold and cage traps.

Species include beaver, muskrat, river otter, marten, fisher, raccoon, badger, ermine, coyote, wolf, lynx and bobcat. Testing must meet requirements outlined in specific certification program documents.

According to Fur Institute of Canada’s website, “A part of the trap certification process in Canada involves safety issues, as well as welfare performance and efficiency. This ensures that approved traps are safe to use when properly maintained and used in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and wildlife regulations. Meanwhile, continuous research leads to new safety features which can then be incorporated into new trap designs.”

The FIC is a not-for-profit organization established in 1983. Focused heavily on humane trap research and furbearer conservation, the FIC is listed as the official trap-testing agency for the federal and provincial/territorial governments. The FIC manages Canada’s humane trap research and testing program through InnoTech Alberta, which provides cutting-edge computer model research, as well as extensive field testing of traps.

Over 200 models of traps have been tested and approved under AIHTS certification standards.

The last certification update took place in 2017.

The United States does not currently have a certification list for specific trap manufacturers, however suggested humane guidelines are specified in the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies “Best Management Practices” guides available for each of the country’s targeted fur bearers. While not mandatory in the US, the humane trapping guidelines listed from the Fur Institute of Canada should be encouraged aspects on any trapline.

The updated list, as well as information on the AFWA Best Management Practices guidelines can be found on our Resources page.