Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced a new bill in the U.S. Congress that would ban almost all trapping on federal public lands and Wilderness areas – including trapping by public officials and their agents.
Many of these animals — often referred to as “furbearers" — are relatively rare but add immensely to the ecological richness of our nation’s Wildernesses and other public lands. Wilderness is defined in the law as an area “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man…retaining its primeval character ad influence [and] managed so as to preserve its natural conditions.” Protecting these critters is essential to meeting the law’s lofty goals. Another big problem with allowing trapping in Wilderness is that it's almost always done for commercial purposes, which is prohibited in Wilderness.
Specifically, the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act (H.R. 5954) would restrict the use of indiscriminate body-gripping traps, which are known to cause severe suffering to trapped animals, on America’s national forests, national wildlife refuges, and public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
H.R. 5954 covers three types of body-gripping traps: Conibear traps that are designed to break an animal's spinal column, strangulation snares that operate by suffocation, and leghold traps that clamp down on animals' limbs with metal jaws and can lead to fractures, severed ligaments, or even amputation.
The bill would also prohibit personnel from the USDA and DOI from using these brutal traps, including personnel from the USDA’s “Wildlife Services.” Incredibly, just last year, Wildlife Services killed over three million animals, including 385 wolves, 284 mountain lions, 480 black bears, 68,905 coyotes, 731 bobcats and 3,437 foxes.
Thank you for taking action asking your representative to co-sponsor the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act (H.R. 5954).
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