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New Mexico bill to ban wildlife traps ignites emotions

February 7, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state bill that would outlaw most wildlife traps and snares on public land in New Mexico ignited three hours of emotional testimony at its first legislative hearing.

Rural and suburban attitudes toward wildlife and protecting household pets collided Thursday at a hearing on the bill before a House committee on natural resources.

The proposal from Democrats including Rep. Matthew McQueen of Galisteo would outlaw the use of traps, snares and poison with the intent capture or kill animals such as coyotes, foxes and feral hogs on state or federal land. It allows for misdemeanor fines of up to $2,000.

Proponents of the bill described the indiscriminate cruelty of traps, while opponents said a ban would infringe on longstanding tradition and endanger livestock. Panel deliberations and voting were postponed.

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