Friday, February 08, 2019

N.M. bid to ban traps on public land shows rural-urban split

The renewal of "a years-long effort to ban trapping on public lands in New Mexico," following the lead of adjoining Colorado and Arizona, has laid bare the state's urban-rural divide, Andrew Oxford reports for the Santa Fe New Mexican.

"With House Bill 366, Lawmakers are reigniting a visceral debate over the humane treatment of animals and deep-rooted traditions," Oxford writes. "Critics argue that banning trapping on public land will not stop the sort of illegal trapping that usually spurs outrage."

Trappers are supposed to get a state license, mark traps "with an identifying number and abide by rules about where they can place their traps," Oxford explains. "Banning the practice, ranchers say, will only deprive them of a method that is key to defending their cattle from predators such as coyotes" and be "one more blow at a way of life many of them already view as under threat."

Animal-welfare advocates who favor the ban "argue that trapping has been ineffective, pointing to the coyote’s spread across North America," Oxford reports. "When the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee took testimony from the public about the issue on Thursday, however, the biggest argument against trapping was simply that it is cruel," and dangerous to people and their pets. The committee is expected to send the bill to the full House on Saturday, Oxford writes, but "trapping bans have faltered in the Senate in the past, leaving its outlook uncertain."

No comments: