Danger to People and Companion Animals

“Knowing traps can be lurking out there has taken away some of the peace I once enjoyed while hiking alone on public lands. Because of trap danger, I feel like I can’t hike in some places now.”

—Mary Katherine Ray, New Mexico

Leg-hold traps, footsnares and other body-gripping devices are hidden from view.

Trapping is legal on all public wild lands in New Mexico, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and State Trust lands. Neither land management agencies nor New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) require any warning signs to alert those in the area. The public has no warning if these dangerous devices are present, and as a result, untold numbers of hikers, equestrians, and others have had negative encounters with traps placed on public lands.

Dog killed in trap

Dog killed in conibear trap

Outdoor recreationists hiking with dogs have faced a surge of negative encounters with traps on public lands in recent months, suffering injury and incurring medical bills.

One woman’s hand became ensnared in a trap after she freed one of her two trapped dogs. The ordeal lasted for nearly two hours. Read article

Commonly, hikers, whose dogs get caught in traps, are injured during rescue attempts.

Despite these incidents, the New Mexico Game Commission and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish have failed to acknowledge complaints with any demonstrable concern.

  • They do not track human/pet trapping incidents
  • Trappers are not required to reimburse the injured for medical or veterinary expenses.

Read more about human and pet-related trapping incidents:

Maggie a valued companion animal, killed in a trap
Maggie a valued companion animal, killed in a trap

Maggie a valued companion animal, killed in a trap

Photo courtesy of Predator Defense

Dog's paw mutilated by trap

Dog’s paw mutilated by trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

Dog caught in conibear trap

Dog caught in conibear kill trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

Dog caught in trap.

Dog caught in trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

Dog's leg injury from trap.

Dog’s leg injury from trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

Dog's paw mutilated by trap

Dog’s paw mutilated by trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

Dog caught in conibear trap

Dog caught in conibear kill trap

Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the US.

If your dog or friend were caught in a leg hold or conibear trap, would you know how to release them?

Click images to enlarge

what to do if your dog is caught in a trap

what to do if your dog is caught in a conibear trap

nm ziaKnow Your State Legislators!

Your New Mexico state Senator and Representative have the power to ban traps, snares and poisons on public lands. Find out who they are and let them know you oppose trapping on public lands. A simple phone call and email can make all the difference.

FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS →

People's Forum Panel Report on Public Lands Trapping

The New Mexico Legislature should ban trapping on public lands in New Mexico because traps harm people, animal companions, and whole populations of wildlife including rare species. Most New Mexican voters believe that trapping is cruel and unnecessary.

Read the Report »