Traps are Cruel and Dangerous, Without Question
Don’t let unscientific proposals needlessly expand trapping of mountain lions

“I heard him screaming in pain and ran down trail to find [my dog] freaking out …Trapping is grossly unfair, indiscriminant, sneaky, dangerous…”Lincoln County resident

“[The cat] came home with the trap attached… It took two of us to release the bar holding the cat’s mummified leg.” Los Alamos resident

“They are lucky if they are found before they die of starvation.”Four Corners resident

“I hate to think of any living creature getting caught in one of these, it is so inhumane.”Taos County resident

These are just some of the many stories that New Mexico citizens tell of their harrowing encounters with cruel, archaic, dangerous leg-hold traps and snares.


Traps are a cruel and indiscriminate threat to anyone who happens to step a foot in one.

Traps are inhumane, no matter where they are in our state or whose foot is caught. And all wildlife management decisions made by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish (NMDGF) should be based on solid, up-to-date biological science. Although the annual cougar hunting kill quota is the unjustifiably, arbitrarily high 749, year-round hunters have never killed more than about 300 a year—suggesting that the cougar population is hardly robust enough to justify implementing additional methods of killing. So, the last thing NMDGF should be doing is considering how to make it easier to trap cougars or expand trapping opportunity.

But that’s exactly what NMDGF is proposing. Even while its own biologists have stated on record that the agency lacks good data to determine what, if any, impact increased trapping would have on New Mexico’s cougar population—let alone how many cougars inhabit our state—NMDGF is proposing to remove the current requirement for landowners to simply obtain a permit before trapping mountain lions on their land. Without a permit requirement, the state agency won’t even be able to track how many cougars are trapped and killed on private land. NMDGF also wants to extend the removal of a permit requirement to state trust lands. This is dangerously close to making cougars varmints, to be killed whenever, however, without caring to even count the bodies.

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The proposal to expand cougar killing is unacceptable and has to be stopped.

The citizens of New Mexico—animal advocates, conservationists, ethical hunters, and ranchers who responsibly coexist with wildlife—must weigh in to halt this and other destructive proposals coming from NMDGF.

Please urge Governor Martinez and the State Game Commission to direct NMDGF to withdraw its proposal to expand cougar trapping that will ultimately affect and harm all species. The Albuquerque Journal agrees, stating in two editorials this year that “trapping is cruel and unsportsmanlike” and that the “Game Commission should look at the data, dismiss this proposal, and move New Mexico forward.”


  1. Sign the petition, and then share it!  Already signed? Please consider helping more before the August 16th signature deadline…
  2. Volunteer to join us at signature-gathering events. It’s fun, easy, and has enormous impact!
  3. Pledge to “Collect 25 to Keep Them Alive.” Simply asking twenty-five of your friends, co-workers, and family members to sign can help this effort to protect wildlife.

Thank you for your hard work to help animals in New Mexico!


- Stop Cougar Trapping campaign website

- APNM’s Bear & Cougar Rule alert

- Trap Free New Mexico’s coalition website

- Share this page on: Facebook | Twitter

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