BAN SNARING / TRAPPING OF COUGARS ON OUR NM PUBLIC LANDS
In August, the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission dealt a major blow to wildlife and the public’s safety alike: they voted to allow cougar trapping without a permit on state trust and private lands. Environmental groups and NM citizens are furious, concerned not solely for cougars’ future, but the many other animals that will no doubt be victims of these indiscriminate snare traps -- from bobcats and coyotes to house pets and even unsuspecting hikers.
Just days after the law took effect, my ex-wife’s dog Murphy fell prey to a vicious snare. While on a hike, he ran up ahead when she heard a shrieking. His leg had been caught in a snare! The trap was so cumbersome, and the dog was so entangled, that she wasn’t even able to free her bleeding, panicked pet. Mind you, this was not far off trail. A trapper had left it right by the road, on national forest land. And it was legal. I’m only glad a small child didn’t run across the trap before the dog did. We should not have to fear such gruesome violence on public land.
We must call on Governor Susana Martinez to act for the good of our wildlife and our safety, and ban snare trapping of cougars on public land.
New Mexico voters opposed this trapping by more than a three-to-one margin. The public is incensed that the commission would jeopardize mountain lions’ future and introduce these cruel contraptions onto precious state trust land.
And this law is not based on reliable science. No wildlife regulations should be passed without good science and solid evidence. The snares have already been proven dangerous to humans, and without permits, we cannot keep track of our cougar populations. There are 3,500 to 4,000 cougars in our state right now. What will the cougar population be after months of unregulated trapping?
To add insult to injury, these traps are the worst, most inhumane method of killing I know of. There is no reason for this level of cruelty. This is our land and our heritage. We must demand that Governor Martinez take public lands back for the people and wildlife, and ban snare trapping of cougars on public land.
- New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners
- BLM New Mexico http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/info/contact_us.html
BAN Snare Trapping of Cougars on our Public Lands
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