Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) commends House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) for reintroducing the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act today. This bill would prohibit the possession or use of body-gripping traps—which endanger wildlife, people, and pets—within the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS).
“Body-gripping traps, such as strangling snares, crushing Conibear traps, and steel-jaw leghold traps, are inhumane and indiscriminate,” said AWI President Cathy Liss. “Setting these traps on pristine, protected lands threatens a wide range of wildlife, including endangered species, along with potentially harming people and their dogs who enjoy spending time outdoors. We thank Chairwoman Lowey for her leadership and determination to end the senseless suffering caused by these barbaric devices.”
“Body-gripping traps should have no place in our national wildlife refuges,” said Chairwoman Lowey. “The Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act would ban from public land these violent traps, which endanger wild animals as well as the millions of visitors who enjoy our nation’s 566 refuges each year. It is past time we ensure the entire National Wildlife Refuge System remains safe for animals and families alike. We must restore the true meaning of ‘refuge’ to the National Wildlife Refuge System.”
The stated mission of the refuge system is to conserve land and water for the sake of “biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health.” These spaces are intended as sanctuaries where wildlife can thrive and all Americans can enjoy the great outdoors. Shockingly, however, the use of inhumane and dangerous traps is allowed in nearly 200 wildlife refuges—one-third of the total. The Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act would help ensure that these lands are managed in a manner that protects animals and people and upholds the NWRS mission.
Margie Fishman, (202) 446-2128, firstname.lastname@example.org