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Speak Up for New Mexico's Wildlife on Sept. 14, 2011

Published 08/29/11

As you know, Born Free USA recently conducted an undercover trapping investigation documenting the cruelty of fur trapping in the United States – including New Mexico.

Following this investigation, we asked our dedicated supporters to call on the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to take immediate steps to protect your state’s wildlife from the barbaric cruelty uncovered by our investigation, and you did.

Along with other New Mexico wildlife advocates, you helped generate more than 12,000 comments to the Department of Game and Fish that requested a trap ban on public lands.

Yet the New Mexico Game Commission ignored this appeal. On July 21, 2011, it expanded trapping across New Mexico, and even lifted the trapping closure in the range of the Mexican wolf!

This is simply unacceptable and we will not stop howling about it.

People, pets and wildlife were shut out from Game Commission’s recent decision — and so were you. It’s now your turn to be heard. Please come out and express your views on trapping before a panel of New Mexico community leaders:

What: The People’s Forum on Trapping
When: From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Where: The Wool Warehouse, 516 First St. NW, Albuquerque

This is an opportunity for you and other New Mexicans to add your voice to the debate over trapping on public lands. The event will feature a citizens panel that will listen to the broad public and educational materials from Trap Free New Mexico. http://www.trapfreenm.org/ Film crews will record this public hearing.

The panel is composed of The Hon. Judge Peggy Nelson, chairwoman; Peggy Weigle, executive director, Animal Humane/New Mexico; Nathan Cote, former state representative; Oscar Simpson, former game commissioner and hunter; Kathleen Holian, Santa Fe County commissioner; Martha Marks, Republicans for Environmental Protection; the Rev. Dr. Donna McNeil, executive director, New Mexico Council of Churches; Kathy Sedlacek, New Mexico Mountain Club; and Helga Schimkat, attorney.

Since 2002, 15 Mexican wolves have been caught in non-governmental traps. Two died. Five more sustained injuries, while three required amputation surgeries (two wolves had entire limbs removed). In the wild, lobos number less than 60 individuals, yet more than 12 been trapped.

In the past decade, New Mexico supplied over 23,000 bobcat pelts to the world’s fur markets and unknown numbers of foxes, weasels, and other species because they go uncounted by Game and Fish.

Traps can be placed as close as 25 yards from any trail with no warnings in New Mexico. As a result, many people and pets have had negative injurious encounters. Dogs have lost limbs from trap injuries. People have been injured while helping their dogs.

The People’s Forum on Public Lands Trapping — because it’s your turn to be heard!

Please e-mail Born Free USA’s Monica Engebretson if you have any questions.

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