Target: Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
Goal: Ban using animal traps on public land to protect innocent, non-targeted animals and humans from injury and death.
Tens of thousands of unhunted animals are accidentally trapped each year in Wyoming alone, and the number is rising. Wyoming is seeing a large growth in hunting license applications, which ultimately means more traps on public lands.
These traps, some of which designed to kill instantly, pose a threat to innocent animals. While hunters are not allowed to keep the trapped non-targeted animals, such as dogs, they are also not required to report them to their owners or the local Game and Fish Department. It is also illegal to tamper with a trap that belongs to another hunter, including freeing a trapped animal, domestic or otherwise.
Hunters have no quotas on the number of animals they can legally harvest, severely threatening the bobcat population. Bobcats are often hunted for their furs and pelts to be sold overseas as part of a growing fashion trend. By not restricting the number of animals each hunter harvests, bobcats could quickly become endangered throughout Wyoming.
The most common trap used by hunters–the leg hold trap–has been deemed inhumane by multiple groups, including the American Veterinary Medical Association. These traps are allowed on public lands, including in the middle of hiking trails. This compromises the safety of humans, domestic animals and other wildlife who are enjoying the natural world and deserve to do so without fear of pain and injury.
Ban trapping on public lands and protect people and non-targeted animals.
Dear Governor Mead,
The tradition of allowing traps on public lands must be stopped for the safety of humans, domestic animals and wildlife populations. Public lands are for everyone’s use as a way to enjoy the natural world. The fact that metal traps designed to maim, injure and kill are allowed in the middle of hiking trails is deplorable and a severe threat to many.
Tens of thousands of non-targeted animals, such as domestic dogs, are trapped and killed in Wyoming each year. It is illegal to tamper with a hunter’s trap and hunters are not required to report the deaths and injuries of domestic animals, ignoring the rights of the harmless animals and their owners. The most common trap clamps the leg of the animal and has been labeled inhumane by a number of organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, yet is still permitted for use in heavily trafficked areas.
The absence of hunting quotas and vague harvest reporting by hunters threatens many wildlife populations across Wyoming, specifically bobcats. Bobcats are becoming widely hunted due to their valuable pelts, and the lack of restrictions could easily devastate their dwindling population.
Please act to ban trapping on public lands. The people of Wyoming, domestic animals and wildlife populations deserve better than dangerous hiking trails, inhumane traps and the threat of endangerment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: J.N. Stuart