Santa Fe County Commission Supports Ban of “Inhumane Traps”

Vote is 4 to 1

February 22 - Santa Fe, NM. The Santa Fe County Commission adopted a resolution to support the ban of inhumane animal traps on public land in New Mexico as groups, cities and counties increasingly call for the removal of these devices. These traps include steel-jaw leg-hold traps, strangulation snares, and other versions of such traps.

In New Mexico, trappers are allowed to place their traps within 25 yards of trails and roads on public lands. They can be a placed ¼ mile from campgrounds, rest stops and picnic areas. Targeted wildlife, such as bobcat and fox, often chew off the trapped limb to escape, and thousands of non-target animals are trapped every year, including dogs and cats, who are injured or killed. The Santa Fe County Commission took a strong stand to recognize the indiscriminate nature of these traps in their resolution.

“This vote is a recognition that these devices are cruel and indiscriminate,” said Teresa Seamster, county resident. “And that they can harm not only wildlife but people and their pets when they are on public land.”

Similar resolutions have been passed by the Dona Ana County Commission, the Silver City Town Council, the Town of Mesilla, and the Animal Service Center of Mesilla Valley.

These traps are already illegal in the neighboring states of Colorado and Arizona on their public lands. In the West, California and Washington also prohibit these devices statewide. The New Mexico Game Commission opened the trapping rules for review last year and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish are now taking comments at:

For more information on trapping, visit our wildlife webpage at