The New Mexico Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish are spending your tax dollars defending the expansion of the cruel and barbaric practice of trapping when they should be revisiting an overbroad regulation that mandates killing wildlife whether it is warranted or not.
Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Humane Society of the United States are suing the commission and the department in state and federal courts over the expansion of cougar trapping on private and state trust lands. Meanwhile, New Mexico marathon runner Karen Williams, who was mauled by a black bear during a race in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, wants state regulation 18.104.22.168c changed to weigh the circumstances surrounding an animal attack rather than automatically putting the animal down.
Regarding trapping, until last year trapping on private land required a special permit from the department and was not allowed elsewhere. But in August the seven-member commission took the department’s advice and authorized recreational trapping and snaring of cougars on private land and, at the request of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, on 9 million acres of state trust land. The department says it “will vigorously defend the rule, which is part of a world-class effort to manage New Mexico’s wildlife.”
Really? World class? Using leg-hold traps, invented in the 1800s and banned in more than 80 countries because they are archaic, cruel and indiscriminate as to what they maim and kill?
Featured image: cougar cub photograph by National Park Servive