Fox in leg trap near placitas

Fox in leg trap near an unpaved section of NM Highway 165 about a half-mile west of the Sandia Man Cave. Photo courtesy: Lauri Dodge

The image of the fox caught in a trap near Placitas was surely startling to many Journal readers. In the weeks since the publication of this incident, a vibrant discourse has arisen concerning the merits and pitfalls of trapping and, more generally, managing wildlife in New Mexico.

Aside from elites seeking to conspicuously display animal pelts, or the few individuals still truly living off the land, trapping animals to meet basic needs for clothing and food is not necessary in contemporary life.

Given that trapping is no longer necessary to our physical and economic survival, it appears that Game and Fish regulations are simply protecting a cultural relic. The department would be better served by examining this practice from a different perspective given the contemporary context in which it occurs. Namely, the agency should move away from its regulatory position of protecting the practice of trapping to protecting wildlife from trappers with limited, necessity-based exceptions.

Read the entire Guest Column in the ABQ Journal