Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trap Free New Mexico? Hell yeah!

A bill introduced last week would limit the cruel and unusual treatment of animals, vis–à–vis trapping and poisoning. The New Mexico WildlifeProtection & Public Safety Act, House Bill 579 make it illegal to for:
  1. a person to set or use, or attempt to set or use, a trap to kill or capture wildlife;
  2. a person to set or use, or attempt to set or use, a body-gripping trap to kill or capture any feral or domestic animal;
  3. a person to apply or use, or attempt to apply or use, any poison to kill or injure wildlife or a feral......
And lots of other good stuff preventing the sale of animal fur and pelts that have been so caught. It's a really great bill: THANK YOU REP. GONZALES. It's wonderful when politicians get it so right. Even the hard-to-please enviros are happy. [We're looking at you, WKR. ;)]

UNFORTUNATELY, it doesn't prevent the use of traps or poisons by the federal government, and we all know who the most prolific wildlife killers are, don't we? Let's say it together: the federal government.  [We're looking at you, USDA]

UPDATED 2/21: Thanks to a commenter, we've realized that our interpretation of the proposed law as it pertains to Wildlife [Dis]Services was perhaps too cynical. [Us? Cynical?] Here's the relevant exception: 
The provisions of subsection A of this section shall not prohibit: (1) the taking of wildlife or feral or domestic animals by federal, state, county, or municipal government employees or their duly authorized agents when prohibited devices or methods are the only feasible method available to protect human health and safety. 
We here at DL just instantly rolled our eyes at that exception, knowing that the more-than-a-few bad apples are likely to invoke it at every opportunity. But perhaps not. Perhaps "feasible" will convince them to try other tactics before the old standbys. What do you think, Gentle Reader? 
P.S. That link to Rep. Gonzales' webpage ain't for nothing. Here's a hint: Emily Post
P.P.S. Google "conibear trap image." If that doesn't convince you of the significance of this bill, check for a pulse.


Mary Katherine Ray said...

We LOVE you for sharing this. The bill does prohibit USDA wildlife services from using traps and poisons. It is a statewide prohibition. (with some limited exceptions similar to what other trap ban states have.)
but the work has just begun!

Anonymous said...

perhaps too cynical. [Us? Cynical?]

If we've become cynical over the years, it's because there's good reason. (See the controversy over DNR employees allegedly giving out GPS collar coordinates to hunters in WI)

But this is good news!