A new statewide poll shows that Nevada voters strongly support broad reforms to the state’s inadequate trapping laws, which pose a serious threat to wildlife, family pets and public safety.
Steel-jaw leghold traps, body-crushing Conibear traps and wire snares are used throughout the state of Nevada, which has some of the nation’s most lax trap check requirements, to trap wildlife. Throughout most of Nevada, traps are required to be checked only once every 96 hours. Most states, including Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and more than 30 others, require 24-hour trap checks in at least some trapping situations or for some trap types. Nevada has no requirement for posting warning signs that could protect people and their pets using public lands by alerting them to traps in the vicinity. Wildlife and family pets frequently sustain severe injuries from being trapped and the type and severity of injury increases with the duration of time in the trap.
Polled about a wide variety of trapping issues, Nevada voters said that they support reforms to the state’s outdated trapping laws that leave wildlife and the public at risk of needless and unjustifiable suffering. TrailSafe Nevada and the Humane Society of the United States are working with state lawmakers to introduce legislation to implement trapping reforms.
Trish Swain, director for TrailSafe Nevada, said: “The majority of Nevadans oppose trapping, from urban Las Vegas to rural communities. The time is ripe to reform the state’s weak and outdated trapping laws and our state’s legislators should know that the public supports them and will thank them for making changes that will help protect our wildlife and the public.”
Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “Nevada is far behind other states in its trapping laws, which leave wildlife and the public vulnerable to injury and suffering. The Silver State’s voting public clearly supports reform.”
The poll asked the following questions:
Question 1: In Nevada, commercial and recreational trapping is legal on public lands. Body-gripping devices used include steel-jaw leghold traps, which are powered by strong springs that slam the trap’s jaws shut on an animal; wire or cable snares, which trap the animal in a loop that tightens and is designed to kill through strangulation; and body-crushing traps, often called Conibear traps, which are designed to kill an animal quickly. Do you support or oppose allowing the use of body-gripping traps on public lands in Nevada?
- Oppose: 56 percent
- Support: 25 percent
- Unsure: 20 percent
Question 2: Most states require traps to display information identifying the trap owner. In Nevada, traps are not required to have any identification or registration information. Do you support or oppose requiring traps to display information identifying the trap owner?
- Support: 68 percent
- Oppose: 22 percent
- Unsure: 10 percent
Question 3: In most of Nevada, traps are required to be checked only once every 96 hours. Many states, including Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, require traps used for commercial or recreational trapping to be checked once every 24 hours. Animals left in traps for longer periods of time suffer greater injury, and may suffer from thirst, hunger, and exposure to harsh weather conditions and predators. Do you support or oppose requiring trap checks once every 24 hours in Nevada?
- Support: 77 percent
- Oppose: 17 percent
- Unsure: 6 percent
Question 4: In Nevada, locations where a trapper has placed a trap are not required to be marked to alert others to where traps are located. This can present a danger for people and pets whose owners don’t know that there are traps set nearby. Do you support or oppose requiring warning flags or signs for traps in Nevada?
- Support: 80 percent
- Oppose: 15 percent
- Unsure: 4 percent
Question 5: In Nevada, between one and two thousand bobcats are trapped annually for the fur trade. Bobcat pelts are often sold for hundreds of dollars per pelt. The Nevada Department of Wildlife tracks the number of bobcats killed but does not have a recent census of the state’s bobcat population. Do you support or oppose the trapping of bobcats for their pelts?
- Oppose: 59 percent
- Support: 28 percent
- Unsure: 13 percent
Question 6: In Nevada, it is unlawful to remove or disturb a legally-set trap. Do you support or oppose allowing citizens to remove or disturb traps that pose an immediate threat to public safety, for example, if your pet or child is caught in, or is in imminent danger of being caught in, a trap?
- Support: 68 percent
- Oppose: 21 percent
- Unsure: 11 percent
Question 7: Nevada regulations designate that some areas are closed to hunting and trapping. However, areas adjacent to places such as archaeological sites, historical sites, State Parks, Great Basin National Park, hiking and biking trails, and horse riding trails are not closed to hunting and trapping, potentially placing people and their animals at risk. Do you support or oppose banning trapping within a one mile radius of these types of sites?
- Support: 68 percent
- Oppose: 23 percent
- Unsure: 9 percent
The telephone poll of 1,461 statewide Nevadan voters was conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States and TrailSafe Nevada from January 25 through January 26, 2017. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.
About TrailSafe Nevada
TrailSafe Nevada is a grassroots organization that advocates for the protection and humane treatment of wildlife and companion animals. TrailSafe Nevada was founded in 2007 and works to reform commercial and recreational trapping. Recent efforts to reform trapping in Nevada include 2011 legislation to restrict trapping in some residential areas and 2013 legislation calling for trap registration. TrailSafe Nevada continues to advocate for trap registration, shorter trap visitation times, signage warning of the location of traps, and other urgently needed reforms, all for the benefit of our animals and public safety.
About the HSUS
The Humane Society of the United States is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We and our affiliates are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 150,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.org.
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