Christopher Smith is the Southern Rockies wildlife advocate for WildEarth Guardians.
If you’ve been around New Mexico enough, you’ve likely seen New Mexico Department of Game and Fish vehicles with stickers that read “Take a child hunting, fishing or trapping.” This message is seemingly innocuous and encourages young people – who are outside less and less – to get out into New Mexico’s wonderful outdoors. However, there are two reasons to rethink this message.
Hunting and angling – when done right and informed by the best available science – are fair-chase pursuits of food and learning. Trapping is, at best, a financial net-zero activity that perpetuates cruelty, privatizes a public resource, and endangers the safety of people, companion animals and imperiled species.
Trapping is highly unregulated in New Mexico: no bag limits, no accountability when companion animals are…
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