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Adams, Lowey Introduce the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act

Dec 2, 2020
Press Release
"we cannot afford to ignore the danger posed by antiquated body-gripping traps."

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswomen Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12) and Nita M. Lowey (NY-17) introduced the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act.

“I’m introducing the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act today because we cannot afford to ignore the danger posed by antiquated body-gripping traps,” said Congresswoman Adams. “Wildlife, pets, and people are placed in harm’s way whenever these violent traps are around. I am proud to reintroduce this important piece of legislation with my colleague, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, to protect our wildlife and our families.”

“I am proud to fight alongside Congresswoman Adams to eliminate the use of antiquated steel-jaw and Conibear traps that cause unnecessary violence to our wildlife, environment, and communities,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “While the use of these traps is cruel and unnecessary to wildlife, the devices also pose a risk to adults, children, and pets. I commend my colleague’s dedication to this fight, and I hope now we can finally rid our ecosystems of the scourge of violent traps and better protect all living things.” 

The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act would prohibit interstate shipment of steel-jaw 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 steel-jaw leghold or Conibear traps. Although each state regulates the use of steel-jaw leghold or Conibear traps, there are no federal laws preventing trappers from crossing state lines with these traps.

“Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps can inflict tremendous suffering on any animal caught in the metal jaws,” said Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “Animals who do not die right away are left in agony, pinned by the powerful spring-loaded clamp. Furthermore, anyone can step into these barbaric devices, including people and their pets. It’s time to evolve beyond such an archaic method of capturing wildlife, and I thank Representatives Adams and Lowey for championing the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act to curtail the use of such traps,” said Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute.

According to Angela Grimes, CEO of Born Free USA, “Without a doubt, trapping is dangerous, indiscriminate, and barbarically cruel. Leghold and Conibear traps are the two most used in the U.S., and they cause massive suffering not only to targeted wild animals, but also to endangered species, beloved pets, and even children. Preliminary, ongoing research conducted by Born Free USA has indicated it is startlingly easy to purchase traps over the internet, bypassing trapping education courses and other state trapping regulations. It is important to take significant steps to limit the impact and spread of these traps.”

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In 2015, she founded the Adams Hunger Initiative to address food insecurity across Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and the 12th Congressional District.