The right to trap on national wildlife refuge lands is being challenged by a new bill introduced by a New York congresswoman. The Sportsmen’s Alliance released details of the proposed bill in an email on March 14, advising hunters and trappers to urge their representatives to vote no on HR 1438.

House Resolution 1438 is also known as the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act. It would ban body gripping, foothold and snare traps on more than 150 million acres of federal land. It was introduced by New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who is a well-known longtime opponent of hunting rights.

A statement on Lowey’s website reads:

“We must restore the true meaning of ‘refuge’ to the National Wildlife Refuge System.”

Lowey also has a quote from longtime anti-trapping organization Born Free USA: “The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is clear: to be an inviolate sanctuary for our native wildlife.”

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Born Free USA incorrectly used the quote from the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). The NWRS was designed to include hunting, fishing and trapping, not for a sanctuary for animals. Even more, Congress in 1997 approved the National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act. The Act identified hunting (trapping included) as a priority use of refuge land. It was signed by President Bill Clinton.

“It’s clear from her statements that Representative Lowey does not have a firm handle on the purpose of these lands or how the funds used to manage them for the benefit of all species are derived,” Evan Heusinkveld, President and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliances, said in a press release. “It’s not surprising that such a distorted view would lead to legislation like this. And it’s no surprise that Representative Lowey is rated a ‘Humane Champion’ by the Humane Society of America’s Legislative Fund.”

Sportsmen’s Alliance urges members to reach out to their local representative and ask them to vote no on HR 1438. The proposed bill would place a one-size-fits-all federal ban on trapping refuges, and that also means not allowing biologists to decide how to handle the properties. Moving forward, HR 1438 could be the first step in banning all hunting on all federal land.

For more information on proposed bills with anti-hunting agendas and what you can do to help stop them, visit

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