The federal government established the National Wildlife Refuge System in 1903 to protect countless animals in refuges across the U.S. Yet in nearly half of the 568 refuges in the country, public trapping—usually for nothing more than a trophy—is allowed. Vile body-gripping traps like strangling snares and Conibear traps and even steel-jaw leghold traps, banned in more than 100 countries and in multiple U.S. states, are used. Terrified victims ensnared in these traps frequently aren’t killed outright and instead spend hours or even days suffering as they frantically try to escape. Animals even attempt to chew their own limbs off in a bid for freedom, until they finally succumb to their injuries or are shot and killed. And wildlife aren’t the only victims. Every year, millions of people and their animal companions visit public national refuges, and indiscriminate traps put them all in danger.
Coyote caught in leg hold trap
To protect these animals, members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act of 2023, HR 5217, which would ban the recreational and commercial use of cruel body-gripping traps on these public, protected lands. Using the form below, please urge your U.S. representative to cosponsor and champion this important legislation.