Congressmen Huffman, Cohen, and Nadler Call for Ending the Use of Body-Gripping Animal Traps

February 09, 2024

WASHINGTON – Congressmen Jared Huffman (CA-2), Steve Cohen (TN-9), and Jerry Nadler (NY-12) were joined by eleven other Members of Congress on a letter they sent today to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland requesting that the Department of the Interior (DOI) prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services Program from using body-gripping traps on all DOI lands. The lawmakers commended Haaland on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recent decision to end the use of inhumane M-44 cyanide bombs to kill coyotes, foxes and feral dogs on the land it manages.

The letter reads in part:

“Body-gripping traps, which include steel-jaw leghold traps, snares, and body-crushing traps, such as Conibear traps, are inhumane and inherently nonselective. They indiscriminately injure and kill nontarget animals, including endangered and threatened species and even pets. Continuing to allow these traps on public lands puts wildlife and millions of visitors and their pets at risk of severe injury from stepping into a trap…

“With all body-gripping traps, animals left languishing alive may succumb due to injuries caused by the trap, exposure to the elements, dehydration, stress, or predation…The risks posed to unintended targets, including wildlife, pets, and humans, by body-gripping traps have led to over 100 countries banning them…

“Considering DOI’s concern for devices that pose a safety risk to unintended targets, and the recent decision by BLM to ban the use of M-44 devices, we respectfully urge DOI to take swift action to prohibit Wildlife Services from using body-gripping traps on all DOI lands.”

See the entire letter, including co-signers, here.