POLL: Should animal traps in our National Wildlife Refuges be banned?

Since the first was designated in 1903, hundreds of refuges have been created and 150 million acres of land and water across the nation have been protected.

These refuges now provide homes to hundreds of species, including those who are and threatened — and as a bonus, they draw millions of visitors each year.

Unfortunately, even though these refuges were created as havens for wildlife, many of them are also places where wildlife can be targeted by commercial and recreational trappers.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Today, is shockingly allowed in an estimated 300 refuges, which is more than half of the nation’s 566 refuges within the System.

The lands intended to protect and preserve species diversity are laden with landmines for wildlife, including Conibear traps, steel-jaw leghold traps, strangulation snares, and “other body-hold devices.”

Not only are these types of traps sickeningly cruel, they’re also indiscriminate; they pose a threat to non-target species, and put visitors and pets at needless risk of being injured and killed. Allowing their use runs counter to the mission of the system, which is to “administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.”

Now, however, there’s a chance to change what’s happening. Conservationists and animal advocates are encouraging Congress to pass the Refuge From Cruel Act, which is being sponsored by Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) in the House and was just reintroduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate.

This critical piece of legislation for wildlife will ban the possession or use of body-gripping traps, including snares, Conibear traps, and steel-jaw leghold traps, within the System.

“We thank Sen. Booker and Rep. Lowey for their determination to end use of cruel traps in our country’s refuges,” said Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute. “Body-gripping traps, such as strangling snares, crushing Conibear traps, and steel-jaw leghold traps, are inhumane and inherently nonselective. These traps do not belong on public lands where families enjoy spending time outdoors, and where anyone who trips a trap can become a victim.”

Hopefully there will be enough public support this time around to get this passed, and refuges will be cleared of these barbaric and inhumane devices.


You can help by signing and sharing the petition urging members of Congress to support and co-sponsor this important piece of legislation that will make refuges the havens for wildlife they were meant to be.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 16 Oct 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether animal traps in our National Wildlife Refuges should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should animal traps in our National Wildlife Refuges be banned?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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