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Animal Rights Activists Mark 'Fur Free Friday' Outside N.H. Fish & Game Headquarters

Casey McDermott, NHPR
"It draws attention and people think it's cute, and they'll at least acknowledge the signs," one protestor, who declined to give his name, said of his decision to don a full-body fox costume for the demonstration.

A group of animal rights activists gathered at a busy intersection near the New Hampshire fish and game headquarters in Concord on Friday to protest fur trapping — and, with the holiday shopping season kicking into gear, to send a message against buying goods made from fur.

“There’s much better ways to heat yourself and warm yourself than using fur, especially with today’s technology,” said James Glover, a board member for the New Hampshire Animal Rights League who showed up to the demonstration. “And the fact is that it’s just so cruel to leave these animals in traps, even if it’s only five minutes. It still must be terrifying for these animals.”

Similar demonstrations were happening all across the country, as part of a movement called “Fur Free Friday.”

Chester resident Kristina Snyder, who is also a member of the New Hampshire animal rights league, organized the local demonstration.

Standing next to a man dressed in a full-body fox suit who declined to give his name, Snyder waved her own oversized poster depicting a photo of a young fox she recently spotted in her backyard.

“I think about a trap on this animal, and it breaks my heart,” Snyder said. “Because just seeing the animal running in the woods, living free, it’s the way it should be.”

Because Friday was a state holiday, no one was at the Fish and Game department to witness the protest. But those gathered at the intersection said they plan to persist in pushing the state to end trapping even after they disperse from this protest.

The state says trapping is “highly regulated” and “a critical wildlife management tool.” The state gave out 479 trapping licenses during the 2016-17 season, down from 584 the previous season. (For comparison: New Hampshire has issued around 48,000 hunting licenses annually in recent years.)

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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