Lethal snares at OSU sheep farm removed for now, but...

Photo of gap under OSU sheep farm gate

If OSU brings back snares with a gate
like this and a broken down fence, it
would be the equivalent of installing a
home alarm system, leaving the front
door wide open, and then being
indignant when robbed.

Not only are lethal methods still being considered, OSU's gates and fencing are what's actually endangering their sheep.


March 6, 2012 - We can celebrate a partial victory: Oregon State University (OSU) deactivated the traps at their sheep farm. This is a relief to all of us, not to mention the innocent animals spared traumatic injury and/or death. Background information

Thank you for all your calls and emails. They worked!

However, their sheep farm's exterior gates and fence line remain open to predators and their sheep are still vulnerable. The fence is in disrepair in spots, is nonexistent in others, and the gates are fabricated and hung in such a way that any pet, child or wild animal can easily access the sheep OSU is trying to protect. 

Most unfortunately, OSU has stated they are open to reinstating lethal controls—like snares, traps and poisons—to protect their sheep. They are missing a key point: they already lost 12 lambs and ewes in one night last year while their lethal snares were active. The predators simply traversed the problematic fencing.

In other words, the snares they previously installed were killing wildlife and endangering neighbors' pets without even protecting OSU's sheep.

Bringing back snares, or installing other lethal controls, while their fencing is in this condition is the equivalent of a homeowner installing a home alarm system, leaving the front door wide open, and then being indignant when they are robbed.  Read our letter to OSU president regarding fencing and lethal control problems.

Not only that, OSU misinformed the public and media regarding the placement of the previously set snares. The traps were NOT placed along interior fencing; they were placed in plain view along exterior fencing adjacent to homes, fully accessible to people and pets. Since our original alert, more homeowners have come forward, revealing their dogs have been killed by OSU personnel in the past and/or caught in the fence's snares. Read our letter to OSU president regarding misinformation.

OSU is a top agricultural school with a golden opportunity to become a leader in animal husbandry by adopting humane methods of protecting and raising livestock. They can protect the sheep in their care while simultaneously ensuring the safety of people, pets and wildlife in their community with a few preventive measures: repairing their fence line, securing their gates, and installing hotwires.

Please urge OSU to take positive action as detailed below.

Take Action Now

1. Please contact OSU's President today and urge him to take the simple measures listed directly above to remedy this situation. In addition, ask him to suspend Wildlife Services' indiscriminate and inhumane trapping practices at OSU, along with their contract, until an independent and public review is completed.

4. Contact your federal representative and senator. Ask them to oppose funding for Wildlife Services' lethal control actions when appropriation bills come to them.

3. Contact Governor Kitzhaber at (503) 378-4582 or send an email online via Ask him to oppose funding for Wildlife Services' lethal control actions.

4. If you can help us spread the word by making a financial contribution, donate today. Any amount helps, and is greatly appreciated.


This all started in February 2012 when a family in Corvalis, OR, who lives next to the OSU sheep farm, alerted us to the lethal snares killing wildlife and endangering neighborhood pets. We joined forces with them and made the following clear case for change to OSU: