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Nadler & Blumenauer Introduce the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, introduced the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act. This legislation will help restore the original purpose of the National Wildlife Refuge System as a sanctuary for wildlife by prohibiting the use of cruel body-gripping traps on these public, protected lands.

“When Americans visit their local National Wildlife Refuges, most expect to view wildlife without the fear that they or their pets will fall victim to a dangerous trap,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “However, over half of our nation’s 568 refuges still permit trapping—putting humans, companion animals, and endangered species at risk of severe injury. It’s clear that these traps have no place on protected lands and my legislation with Rep. Blumenauer will ensure all of our refuges are free from this inhumane practice.”

“We’ve seen too many concerning examples of wild animals suffering and pets falling victim to body-gripping traps. It’s disgusting such inhumane traps are so widely used, especially in places meant to be a refuge from animals and people alike,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauerco-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. “My legislation with Chairman Nadler will prohibit the use of these traps on public lands. With many effective non-lethal methods that can be used in their place, the federal government cannot continue to endorse this cruel practice.”

“For too long we have allowed the use of these brutal, archaic devices on federal public lands that were created to provide an inviolate sanctuary for our nation’s wildlife,” said Angela Grimes, Chief Executive Officer for Born Free USA. “By their very design, steel-jawed leghold traps, snares, Conibear traps, and other body-gripping traps are cruel and indiscriminate. They inflict severe stress, anguish, and suffering for any animal who steps into one, including imperiled species and beloved companion animals. And yet, 242 of our 568 national wildlife refuges—nearly 43 percent—currently allow some form of trapping. Tens of millions of people visit these refuges every year with their families and pets. It is time to relegate these torturous, barbaric devices to the history books where they belong. Born Free USA applauds Chairman Nadler and Congressman Blumenauer for introducing this important bill.”

“We thank Chairman Nadler and Representative Blumenauer for their commitment to ending the use of cruel traps in our country’s refuges,” said Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute. “Body-gripping traps, such as strangling snares, Conibear traps, and steel-jaw leghold traps, are inhumane and indiscriminate. Public lands belong to all of us, not just the select few who wish to trap, and Americans should be able to enjoy our outdoor spaces without fear of their pets or themselves stepping into a bone-crushing device.”

“At this stage in our history, there is no case to be made for permitting private citizens to trap animals for fur pelts or trophies on a National Wildlife Refuge, and every reason to pass the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act,” said Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Trapping is an especially perverse form of cruelty, one that causes excruciating pain and violent death by design. It won’t be missed, because commercial and recreational trapping on our refuge lands have never served a legitimate or scientific management goal. Millions of Americans share Reps. Nadler’s and Blumenauer’s determination to make the National Wildlife Refuges true sanctuaries for wildlife.”

“The ASPCA commends Chairman Nadler and Representative Blumenauer for their steadfast leadership on the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act,” said Richard Patch, Vice President of federal affairs for the ASPCA. “This important legislation will restrict the use of inhumane body gripping traps on federal lands under the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act. Because of their indiscriminate nature, traps endanger humans, dogs, cats and other pets, as well as other non-target animals that are too often left to suffer and die from thirst, hunger, or exposure to the elements.”

Original cosponsors of the bill include Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA), Sean Casten (D-IL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Scott H. Peters (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), David E. Price (D-NC), Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

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