Help Ban Cruel and Indiscriminate Leghold Traps and Snares in Corrales, New Mexico

This is a cross-post from Animal Protection Institute.

A city ordinance to ban leghold traps and snares will be considered by the Corrales City Council in public hearings on February 10 and February 27, 2004. The proposed ordinance comes in the wake of reports of coyotes suffering within city limits from trap-related injuries, including mutilated paws and broken bones.

Leghold traps and snares are notoriously cruel and indiscriminate. One of the most inhumane traps used today, the leghold trap is designed to capture and hold an animal by its foot or leg, but will shut on any body part when triggered. Animals captured in leghold traps frequently suffer from severe injuries including broken bones and severed tendons, a well as physiological trauma. Trapped and terrified, animals have gnawed off their own limbs to break free. Snares are generally made of a light wire cable looped through a locking device, and are designed to tighten around the neck or other body part as the animal struggles. The more the animal struggles, the tighter the noose becomes. While small victims may become unconscious in five to ten minutes, larger animals may suffer for hours or days.
Leghold traps and snares are inherently non-selective and will capture any unsuspecting animal, including threatened and endangered species, birds, and companion animals. Studies have shown that for every "target" animal caught, two to five times as many non-target animals may be trapped.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the National Animal Control Association have all deemed the leghold trap "inhumane," and Americans have shown their opposition to the use of these traps by passing ballot initiatives banning or severely restricting body-gripping traps in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington. In addition, more than 80 countries nationwide have banned the use of leghold traps.

You Can Help

The Corrales City Council is accepting public comment until February 23, 2004 on this issue. (Letters from outside Corrales will be accepted and considered in the official record.) Submit letters to:

Mr. Harry Staven, Administrator
Village of Corrales
PO Box 707
Corrales, NM 87048
505-897-7217 fax

Be sure to indicate that your letter is Re: Proposed Ban on Leghold Traps and Snares in Corrales.

Points to consider including in your letter:
* Urge the City Council to prohibit the use of leghold traps and snares in Corrales and thank its members for considering this proposed ordinance.
* Snares and leghold traps regularly catch non-target animals, thus posing a significant hazard to domestic animals as well as threatened and endangered species.
* Snares generally kill animals by strangling them with a wire loop often resulting in a slow, painful death, some times lasting days. It would violate state humane laws to treat a domestic dog or cat in the same manner.
* Most animals caught in body-gripping traps react to the instant pain and restraint by frantically struggling against the trap in an attempt to free themselves, often enduring fractures, ripped tendons, severe swelling (edema), blood loss, amputations, and/or tooth and mouth damage from chewing and biting at the trap. Some animals even chew or twist off their trapped limbs trying to escape.
* More than 80 countries have banned leghold traps, including all 15 member-nations of the European Union. However, the United States lags far behind the rest of the world with regard to trapping reforms.
* As a city that has made strides to co-exist with coyotes, Corrales has the opportunity to take this compassion one step farther and put itself on the map by banning cruel and unnecessary traps.

If you live in Corrales, please attend one of the three public hearings and show your support for the trap ban ordinance. Public hearings will be held February 10, and February 27. All City Council meetings start at 7:30pm.

For more information about the meetings, please call the City Administrator’s office at 505-897-0502.

For more information on this issue, please contact Camilla Fox at or 916-447-3085 x215.