Trapping tragedies detailed by sierra club database uses

Although most New Mexicans do not trap wildlife and oppose trapping on public lands, New Mexico has failed to join its neighboring states in banning cruel and indiscriminate traps and snares, they stated. The statewide coalition TrapFree New Mexico continues to bring to light the indiscriminate cruelty that trapping causes with hard evidence.

During the 2017-2018 trapping season, at least nine dogs were caught in traps across the state. Three critically endangered Mexican wolves were caught in traps this winter. At last official count, just 114 Mexican wolves roam the wilds of the southwestern United States, and only 51 live in New Mexico. That means more than 2 percent of all wild Mexican wolves in the U.S. and 6 percent of New Mexico’s lobos were trapping victims just in the past year.


One of the three wolves trapped during the 2017-2018 season, female pup 1664, eventually lost a leg due to her incident. A second trapped wolf, m1569), was released onsite by the trapper and found dead in March.

“These scenes speak volumes about the disconnect between New Mexico’s laws and how New Mexicans feel about animals,” Chris Smith, southern Rockies wildlife advocate for WildEarth Guardians said in the release. “It’s an atrocity that our native wildlife is tortured and left to decay wherever is convenient.”

In March 2018, a horseback rider traveling in a wash just north of Aztec, NM, noticed a raven flying in the sky, screaming and diving above another raven flopping on the ground. Upon closer inspection, the rider discovered the raven on the ground had a metal leg-hold trap around a now-mutilated leg, covered in blood. With difficulty, she was able to release the raven from the trap and it flew away with its mate. She contacted Animal Protection of New Mexico’s Cruelty Hotline for assistance with reporting the incident to the correct authorities. What is shocking to many New Mexicans is that the trapper’s capture of the raven in the trap was perfectly legal, but technically, the good Samaritan’s release of the raven from the trap was in violation of Department of Game & Fish rules and subject to criminal charges, according to the release.

Groups and activists have repeatedly called for legislation that would restrict public lands trapping to only the most necessary instances such as when public safety is at risk and critical scientific research is warranted. Legislation to ban traps, and also lethal poisons, on public lands was introduced in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Every time, despite immense public support for the ban, the legislation failed to pass its first committee referral, the release stated. An August 2015 poll conducted by Remington Research Group showed that New Mexico voters oppose allowing leg-hold traps and snares by more than a three-to-one ratio.

Trapping on public lands is legal in New Mexico. There are no bag limits for furbearer species. The law does not require trap locations to be marked, signed, or for any warnings to be present. No gross receipts tax is levied on fur and pelts sold by trappers. No penalties exist for trappers who unintentionally trap non-target species including endangered species, protected species, domestic animals, pets, humans or livestock, according to the release.

No database or official record is kept by any public entity and no requirement exists that trappers report when they have captured a dog in their traps. The pattern these incidents follow are usually similar; dogs screaming and frantically biting at the person desperately trying to rescue them. Veterinary and even human medical treatment along with associated expenses can result, as can long-lasting psychological trauma.

The true toll that trapping takes on native wildlife is difficult to know. Reporting requirements exist for some species, but not for often-trapped so-called “unprotected furbearers” like coyotes and skunks. The accuracy of reporting is unverifiable and numbers do not adequately articulate the suffering and carnage that traps wreak on bobcats, foxes, imperiled Mexican gray wolves, coyotes, and other animals, the release stated.

The almost singular excuse for the above-mentioned incidents is that trapping is necessary to control carnivore populations, but scientific studies do not support this assertion, chapter officials stated in the release. The existence of trapping by a minuscule subset of the population using New Mexico’s public lands is in direct conflict with one of the state’s most valuable economic strengths: outdoor recreation, they contended.

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