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Massachusetts Environmental Police photo.

Massachusetts Environmental Police make rescue attempt on red-tailed hawk caught in leghold trap

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“Recently, concerned citizens in Western Massachusetts found a red-tailed hawk with a leghold trap around its foot.

Due to the severity of injuries the animal was euthanized at a veterinary hospital. The coil spring, steel jaw, leghold trap was turned over to Massachusetts Environmental Police. Through the investigation, the Lieutenant learned a resident on the same road had backyard chickens and ducks and was having predatory issues. Suspected traps were observed on the property near the poultry enclosures.

A search warrant was granted and executed with the assistance of Massachusetts State Police and local law enforcement. Five additional leghold traps, three of those exactly matching the type and description of the one removed from the injured hawk, were located.

Criminal charges were filed for possession/use of prohibited leghold traps and improper storage of firearm, which was also found on the property.

The public is reminded that the use of leghold traps in Massachusetts is prohibited. For more information on trapping, please visit https://www.mass.gov/service-details/trapping-information.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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