Legislature: Ban On Wildlife Traps, Snares And Poison On Public Lands Heads To Governor’s Desk


Senate Bill 32: the Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act, also known as “Roxy’s Law,” will now head to the Governor’s desk for signature after passing the House of Representatives today with a 35-34 vote.   

Roxy’s Law is sponsored by Senators Bobby Gonzales, (D-Ranchos de Taos) and Brenda McKenna (D-Corrales), and Representatives Matthew McQueen (D-Galisteo) and Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos). The bill enacts the Wildlife Conservation and Public Safety Act, making it unlawful to use a trap, snare, or wildlife poison on public land. Violations of the Act will result in misdemeanor penalties. The bill does not affect private landowners, or apply to Indian nation, tribal, or Pueblo lands.  

“Trapping is cruel. Animals suffer before they are killed or left to die. That alone is enough to ban the practice,” said Rep. McQueen. “But because trapping is indiscriminate, it is also a threat to public safety and our pets. It makes New Mexicans fearful of using our public lands, makes tourists less likely to explore our state, and violates the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.”  

Rep. McQueen continued: “Banning trapping on our public lands is a commonsense step we must take to conserve our wildlife and protect New Mexicans and their pets who use our outdoor spaces, as well as preserve our outdoor tourism industry.”  

“The use of traps, snares, and poisons is an inhumane practice that subjects animals to unnecessary cruelty and incredible pain,” said Rep. Chandler. “Not only do they harm and indiscriminately kill wild animals, but also endanger species and domestic animals who become ensnared in traps. This is a cruel practice that has no place in our state today.”  

The bill provides a number of exceptions, including all other types of hunting, ecosystem management, bona fide scientific research, cage traps to protect property/crops/livestock or to recover lost feral domestic animals, and uses by members of an Indian nation, tribe, or pueblo for religious or ceremonial purposes.  

Roxy’s Law is supported by Amigos Bravos, Animal Protection Voters, Born Free USA, Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Voters New Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife, Endangered Species Coalition, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Mountain Lion Foundation,  New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association, New Mexico Wild, Project Coyote, Sandia Mountain Bear Watch, Sierra Club, Southwest Environmental Center, WildEarth Guardians, and Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest.  

 Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.