Santa Fe Scoop

SF County Resolution to BAN steel-jaw animal traps - Hearing on Feb 22

Santa Fe County Commissioner, Kathy Holian recently sent this email out.  Attend if you can, or email Kathy your support: .  One of my dogs was nearly caught in an illegal baited trap on the Santa Fe National Forest in Santa Fe County, 10 feet from a road.  Legal traps must be tagged with the trappers name or trapper # and checked every 24 hours.  This trap had no number and I turned it over to Forest Service law enforcement.  I also had a friend whose dogs escaped from her yard near Camp Stoney.  When she got home one dog was there, the other missing.  Thank goodness the dog was able to lead her to her other dog who was caught in a leg trap.  Traps are already banned in Los Alamos County.  I hope SF will follow.  It is a terrible, tortuous way for an animal to die.


Trapping Fact Page:

NMGF Trapping Rules:


This is Kathy's email:


Dear Santa Fe County residents:

At the next meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on February 22, I will be sponsoring a resolution that supports banning the use of steel-jaw, strangulation snare, and other body-gripping animal traps.

These type of traps are needlessly cruel to wildlife. They often ensnare wildlife that is not the main target of the traps. Another major problem with these traps is that the regulations on their use are not well-enforced. This means that the traps are often placed too close to trails and other access points into the National Forest and wilderness areas. Unsuspecting pets have been injured. There have even been cases of human injury. I heard about one incident in which a horseback rider was thrown when the horse's leg was caught in one.

I strongly believe that snare and steel-jaw traps should be banned in New Mexico.

If you would like to come to our meeting to speak about this issue, the case will probably be heard around noon. The meeting will start at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 22, but there will be a number of special presentations that will take some time before the main agenda items are heard. If you follow the meeting on television or on the webcast presentation, you can get a fairly good idea of when this item will come up.

Please feel free to send comments to me on the topic as well.

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Comment by L.R. Kastner on February 22, 2011 at 5:24pm

Julie L,

Do we know if the ban was passed?

Comment by Judy Prisoc on February 20, 2011 at 9:52pm
Thanks for letting us know about this!
Comment by Julie L on February 20, 2011 at 8:41pm
I was also surprised this was the first I'd heard about this, but I am so pleased to hear the Santa Fe County Commissioners have it on their agenda. At any given time there are 1000s of traps set all across New Mexico, some legal, some not legal. On one of the websites I referenced, there was mention of one trapper who had over 70 traps set on the Gila National Forest at one time. When baited they attract eagles, bob cats, dogs, you name it. I was lucky I found the trap before my dog got caught in it. It was right under the tree next to where we parked, and had just let the dogs out on leash when one bolted under the tree for the chunk of meat. Thanks Cindy for spreading the word, and LR for the email list to copy and paste.
Comment by CindyR on February 20, 2011 at 7:02pm
Thank you for alerting us Julie!! I'm sending this alert to everyone I know in SF County.
Comment by L.R. Kastner on February 20, 2011 at 6:05pm

Here are the e-mails for the County Commisioners in case we can't make the meeting but want a voice.,,,,

Here is the website link.

Thanks Julie.

Comment by Lily Azures on February 20, 2011 at 4:57pm

omg julie...thanks for posting this. i had no idea something like this was still going on. thank you for the information. is this a common practice here in NM?

Comment by Julie L on February 20, 2011 at 4:22pm

Here is a website with a video on how to release your dog from a leg trap, and stories of inadvertent wildlife, dogs, and a person caught in traps in New Mexico:

This is the steel trap I found on the Forest with no ID on it, baited with pieces of cow.


Many trappers around here are trying to kill coyotes to protect livestock and many take the fur. I found a coyote who'd just been skinned by IAIA a few years ago.  The Humane Society of the US has tested many faux fur garments and found coyote, dog, and cat hair in them.  If there's no consumer demand for fur, including fake fur, clothing companies won't buy it and the better the chances at least some trappers will find another occupation.

This is a good website with a list of brands that don't use animal fur and how to tell the difference if that fur lined hat you have is fake or real fur.

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