Paws Up! To Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) for introducing a bill that would help prevent the cruel and useless killing of wildlife by dangerous and inhumane trapping methods.
October 23, 2021
Millions of animals are trapped and killed each year for their skins and fur. Many hunters and trappers target rabbits, coyotes, lynx, and foxes, among others. Sometimes, even companion animals such as dogs and cats fall prey to these hidden traps that are often set on public lands (read about New Mexico’s recent victory over trapping innocent animals by passing Roxy’s Law). There are two types of traps that are the most troublesome: the steel-jaw trap and the Conibear® trap.
A steel-jaw leghold trap operate just as the name implies. This trap is designed to snap closed on an animal’s leg—or any part of the animal it happens to close on—holding the animal there until the trapper arrives. These traps rip flesh, sever tendons, and break bones.
The Conibear® trap is similar in design to the steel-jaw leghold trap in that it is designed to snap shut when the trigger is activated. The major difference between these two traps is that the Conibear® is a larger, full body trap designed to snap shut at the base of the captured animal’s spinal chord, instantly killing the animal. However, it is rare that an animal happens to trigger one of these traps in the absolute perfect position. Therefore, it is rare that an animal trapped in a Conibear® is killed instantly.
H.R. 5578: Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act would prohibit the import, export, and interstate sales of steel-jaw and Conibear® traps in an effort to lessen their impact on wildlife. According to the bill, it would be unlawful for anyone to “import, export, deliver, carry, or transport by any means whatever, in interstate commerce, any steel-jaw leghold trap or Conibear trap; or to sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any steel-jaw leghold trap or Conibear trap that was delivered, carried, or transported” to them.
Violators would be subjected to a civil fine of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The Department of the Interior would also give a reward equal to half of the penalty paid to anyone who gives information that leads to a conviction.