When writing legislators about legislation, they notice when they receive identical emails—so please revise any draft message prepared for you and put it in your own unique words.
Here are some ideas for talking points—try choosing and focusing on one or two that resonate most with you:
- Introduce who you are and tell your unique story: Start with saying where you’re from; any connections to rural or traditional communities; your role as a leader, business owner, parent, teacher, veterinarian, wildlife enthusiast; your story if you’ve encountered a trap on public land … anything that brings context to your message.
- Traps, snares, and poisons are cruel: Trapped, snared, and poisoned animals are subject to prolonged pain, dehydration, starvation, broken bones, predation, dislocation, self-amputation, trauma, and painful death.
- Trapping gives New Mexico’s outdoor recreation reputation a black eye. With our neighbors Colorado and Arizona having banned traps on public lands since the 1990s, New Mexico presents unnecessary added risk to outdoor recreationists and tourists. In recent years, reports have included a tourist finding a bloodied raven in a leg hold trap, and a resident’s morning stroll disturbed by the discovery of a trapper’s dump site with skinned, rotting coyote carcasses.
- Trapping violates the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation: Unlike game species hunted in New Mexico, furbearer species can be taken in unlimited numbers and sold in commercial markets. Trapping drains a public resource for private commercial profit, which violates the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
- Traps are indiscriminate: Traps frequently maim and kill non-target animals and there are many such instances across the state over past years, including trapped black bears, endangered Mexican gray wolves (at least 2-3 per year on average), mountain lions, and wild native birds.
- Traps are a public safety hazard: Along with non-target wildlife, leghold traps have injured and killed domestic dogs or cats in nearly every county in New Mexico, including in sparsely populated rural and wilderness areas. In the current 2020-2021 trapping season alone (which started Nov. 1, 2020), nine dogs have been reported to be caught in traps.