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Congresswoman Alma Adams

Representing the 12th District of North Carolina

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Adams & Lowey Introduce the Public Safety & Wildlife Protection Act

Mar 21, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.--Today, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-17) introduced the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act.

 “We can no longer afford to disregard the dangerous effects that antiquated body-gripping traps have on wildlife, pets, and people. These violent traps negatively impact our ecosystem and pose unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children. I am proud to introduce this important piece of legislation with my colleague, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, to protect our wildlife and our communities,” said Congresswoman Alma S. Adams.

“It is time to make dangerous body-gripping traps a thing of the past. These archaic, indiscriminately violent devices pose a serious threat to wild animals, pets, and people, and they must be banned in the United States. I am proud to stand with Congresswoman Adams in the fight to protect our ecosystems and our communities from these cruel and unnecessary traps,” said Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey.

According to Jennifer Place, Program Associate for Born Free USA, “We applaud and thank Congresswoman Adams for her leadership on this legislation and urge its swift passage.  Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps are archaic, indiscriminate, and horrific in their brutality. When triggered, they slam shut on their victims with bone-crushing force, causing massive pain and suffering not only to targeted wild animals, but also to endangered species, people’s pets, and children. Last month a young man injured his arm in a Conibear trap illegally set near a playground in Chesterton, Indiana. It is clear these traps not only endanger wildlife, but also compromise public safety. The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act will ensure animals and people are able to enjoy our magnificent outdoor spaces without the risk of being caught—and possibly killed—in an indiscriminate and painful trap.”

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The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act will prohibit interstate shipment of leghold and Conibear traps.  This legislation will not supersede a state’s policies and regulations on trapping; it does, however, ensure that these two dangerous traps do not cross state lines. 

According to a 2015 Responsive Management report, almost 90 percent of trappers used either leghold or Conibear traps. Although, each state regulates the use of leghold or Conibear traps, currently, there are no federal laws preventing trappers from crossing state lines with these traps.