New Mexico residents are at risk of losing their right to trap predators, an action that would negatively impact wild and domestics animals.

According to the Sportsmen’s Alliance, the New Mexico Senate Conservation Committee recently tabled a bill to outlaw setting traps to capture or kill animals on public land. A trapper’s first violation of the law would be a misdemeanor, but a second offense would result in a felony.

On Feb. 21, the committee placed a hold on Senate Bill (SB) 286 to allow committee members to gather more information on the proposed trapping embargo.

Trapping predators is crucial to successful, wildlife management. It’s also a method used to protect livestock and pets from becoming targeted prey. Plus, trapping aids in controlling disease passed between feral and domesticated animals.

Perhaps most importantly, trapping protects wildlife from overpopulation.

What’s Next For New Mexico’s Bill to Make Trapping Illegal?

Tabling the bill does not kill the legislation for this session. Instead, it’s likely that the bill sponsor, Sen. Pete Campos (D-District 8), will try to amend SB 286 and retable it for a vote before New Mexico’s Senate meets again on March 17.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance is calling on New Mexico hunters and trappers to take action and ask their state representatives to vote “No” on Senate Bill 286. An advocate for hunting, fishing and trapping, the alliance provides a legislative action center to make contacting legislators easy. Those interested in making their voices heard can access this tool here.

If this bill makes it through, nearly half of New Mexico would be off limits to trappers and trapping. Currently, trapping is regulated by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Both federal and state wildlife experts agree trapping is crucial to proper wildlife management.

Click here for more information on this potential trapping ban.

Related: How To Trap Raccoons