New Mexico’s Public Land Trapping Bill Up for Vote

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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.

New Mexico Rep. Matthew McQueen’s (D-Santa Fe) House Bill 366, which bans the use of traps, including snares, conibear and leg-hold traps, on public land is scheduled to be voted on tonight.

Not only is House Bill 366 bad public policy because it takes the management authority away from the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game, it is also a threat to public safety as many furbearers can spread diseases such as rabies and even the plague.

Federal and state wildlife experts agree that trapping is an essential aspect of wildlife management. A report from National Agriculture Statistics Service stated that “conflicts with coyotes in urban and suburban areas of New Mexico are increasing where they kill pets and other domestic animals, and pose safety risks to people and children.”

“Rep. McQueen is politicizing wildlife management and undermining state experts who have advanced degrees and decades of experience protecting wildlife and people,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “House Bill 366 endangers people and pets, and will undoubtedly cost ranchers millions of dollars.”

Coyotes are also detrimental to farmers and ranchers. The same report stated that “predators throughout New Mexico killed 9,900 head of cattle, a $5.3 million loss, and in 2009, 8,200 sheep and lamb were lost to predation, a loss valued at $901,000.” Additionally, a USDA report stated that “in New Mexico, the percentage of cattle loss due to coyotes in 2015 was 60.5% and the calf losses due to coyotes in 2015 was 49.5%.” Coyotes were listed as the top predator in both reports.

With approximately 9 million acres of National Forest land and 13 million acres of Bureau of Land Management property in New Mexico, banning trapping would make it nearly impossible to manage the furbearer population.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.