UPDATE! *** HB 366 is scheduled for a House Judiciary committee hearing today, Feb. 25, at 1:30 pm, Room 309 ***
New Mexico Rep. Matthew McQueen’s (D-Santa Fe) House Bill 366, which bans the use of traps such as snares, conibear and leg-hold traps on public land, is set to receive a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on update, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m. on the House Floor of the capitol building. HB 366 passed the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 8-4 on Feb. 9.
House Bill 366 is bad for public safety and welfare as many furbearers spread diseases, destroy property and kill livestock and pets.
Trapping is tightly regulated by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Both federal and state wildlife experts agree that trapping is an essential aspect of wildlife management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals.”
According to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, coyote numbers are so abundant that there is no bag limit nor closed season for them. In 2010, the National Agriculture Statistics Service reported that predators throughout New Mexico killed 9,900 head of cattle at a loss of $5.3 million. Coyotes were labeled the major livestock predator. However, coyotes are just one of the many furbearer species that inhabit the state and pose a threat to people. Raccoons and skunks can carry and spread diseases, such as rabies, and beavers can flood fields, housing projects and can cause millions of dollars in damages to infrastructure such as bridges.
Take Action Today! New Mexico sportsmen should contact their state representative and ask them to vote NO on HB 366. New Mexico members can contact their representative by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.