Congresswoman Nita Lowey Introduces Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act of 2009
Please ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3710
As the trapping season commences across the country with the beginning of fall, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has introduced legislation to end the use of brutal traps on furbearing animals within federal wildlife refuges. H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, which was submitted with a total of 35 original co-sponsors, helps to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System by placing a ban on the use of body-gripping traps within the refuge system.
Currently, animals living within National Wildlife Refuges are at risk of falling victim to body-gripping traps where they may suffer for hours or days—struggling to be free of the long-drawn-out pain inflicted on them by the traps. Animals targeted by trappers include coyotes, bobcats, otters, fox, wolves, beaver, and other wildlife. Many of these animals are killed for recreation and profit (fur). Because body-gripping traps and snares do not discriminate, they jeopardize the very birds and threatened and endangered species refuges are supposed to protect. Bald eagles, Canada lynx, gray wolves and other imperiled species are frequent victims of traps set for other species.
More than half of our nation’s 550 refuges (.pdf file), currently allow trapping using steel jaw leg-hold traps, Conibear traps, and snares. Steel jaw leg-hold traps are designed to restrain the animal by the leg, and studies show such traps can cause significant injuries including fractures, dislocation, laceration, hemorrhage, and even amputations. Conibear traps are designed to crush the animal’s spinal column for a quick kill. However, the trap often misses and clamps down on the chest or pelvis, crushing bones and causing the animal excruciating pain and prolonged death. Snares are among the oldest form of trap, a simple noose made of thin wire, which tightens around an animal's neck or body as they struggle to get away. H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act will put an end to this cruel practice. Body-gripping traps have been restricted in several states and leghold traps are banned in 89 other nations.
A national Decision Research public opinion poll showed that 79% of Americans believe trapping on National Wildlife Refuges should be prohibited, while 88% believe wildlife and habitat preservation should be the highest priority of the refuge system. Trappers, who compromise less than one tenth of 1% of the population, already have access to millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system for their activities.
H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, will help to ensure that our National Wildlife Refuge System —which was specifically established to provide animals a safe haven — is maintained as an inviolate sanctuary for wild animals.
For more information about trapping on our National Wildlife Refuge System:
1. Write to your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to support and co-sponsor the “Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act” to help restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System as a safe haven for wildlife by prohibiting the use of cruel body-gripping traps on this public lands system. SEE POINTS BELOW
Address your letters to:
The Honorable [Full Name]
To find out who your Representative is go to www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml. Telephone and fax numbers of individual members of Congress can also be reached by calling Federal Information at (800) 688-9889.
2) Personalized written letters have a greater impact when writing to members of Congress. However, if you are pressed for time, you can send an email letter to your Representative through the Animal Welfare Institute’s website.
POINTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR LETTER:
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