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Trapping-ban bill signals shift in attitudes toward animals

February 27, 2019

TIERRA AMARILLA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico may become the latest state in the American West to place major restrictions on wildlife trapping as frontier ethics and suburban attitudes toward animal suffering collide.

A Democrat-backed bill that bans traps, snares and animal poison on public land with few exceptions was poised for a crucial vote in in the state House of Representatives as soon as Thursday.

Final approval would banish independent trappers from public lands that span nearly a third of the state.

Trapping traditions date back to the Spanish colonial era and include celebrity 19th century frontiersman Kit Carson.

Lining up against the ban are trappers and ranchers who depend on each other to tamp down livestock predators and harvest pelts for international markets.