To end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Read More


This bill was introduced on Jul 26, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text


To end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act''.


The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:


``(a) In General.--No person may possess or use a body-gripping trap in the System. ``(b) Enforcement Provisions.--Notwithstanding section 4(f), a person who possesses or uses a body-gripping trap in the System shall be subject to the following: ``(1) In the case of a first offense, a civil fine of not more than $500 imposed by the Secretary for each body-gripping trap possessed or used. ``(2) In the case of a subsequent offense-- ``(A) a civil fine of not more than $1,000 imposed by the Secretary for each body-gripping trap possessed or used; ``(B) imprisonment for not more than 180 days; or ``(C) both a civil fine and imprisonment in accordance with subparagraphs (A) and (B). ``(c) Forfeiture of Body-Gripping Trap.--Any body-gripping trap that is possessed or used in violation of this section, and any wildlife captured by the use of such trap, including the pelt or raw fur, shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States in accordance with the...

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Sentiment Map



0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

State: CA

15 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

District: 1st

2 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Most people understand the term ‘wildlife refuge’ as places set aside for the protection of wildlife, areas where animals find much needed shelter from threats and dangers caused by humans. Trapping is such a threat and not only that – trapping causes pain and suffering for the unfortunate animals lingering in traps or snares. If still alive upon the trapper’s return, a trapped animal is either clubbed or stomped to death, strangulated, or, if s/he is ‘lucky,’ the animal is being shot in the head (to preserve the pelt). The main motivation behind trapping is “recreation” and “private profit” (fur). A wild animal, while in general considered being ‘owned’ by the public, transitions irreversibly and immediately into private property of the trapper when s/he is caught in a trap or snare. Hundreds of thousands of wild animals suffer and die each year at the hands of trappers, their pelts end up as some distorted and lifeless items of the fashion industry. Traps in Montana can be set year-round for ‘predators’ and non-game species – no animal is safe from getting caught, not even when mothers are nurturing their young; a few years ago, a mountain lion mother was found killed in a snare, along her body were two of her dead cubs, who had died of starvation because their mother could no longer nurture them. These are the kind of tragedies that trapping for fur causes, not known to the public but nevertheless a harsh reality of trapping. The National Wildlife Refuge System comprises a mere 5% of public lands. The least we can do now is providing these small pockets of “refuge” for wild animals, which is what Congresswoman, Nita Lowey (D-NY) is intending to do by reintroducing legislation to end the use of body-gripping traps within National Wildlife Refuges. Footloose Montana wholeheartedly endorses H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, to help restore the original intent of Roosevelt’s vision of the meaning ‘wildlife refuge’ as places where animals find true sanctuary.

Footloose Montana 3 years ago

We, The Wolf Army, feel that trapping has no place in today’s United States. While we are currently running a campaign to ban trapping in all public and federally owned lands we believe that HR 2657 is a large step in the right direction. Trapping is cruel and inhumane from start to finish. First there are, for the lack of a better term, mechanical landmines are placed randomly throughout the landscape. Not only do these traps cause pain and suffering to any animal that unfortunately gets caught in them they are indiscriminate and will trap anything that comes into contact with it (quite often called “unintended victims” or “unintended captures”). These unintended victims can be anything from other animals, endangered species, children, or even pets (who are highly susceptible to these traps). The trapped animal is then stuck exposed to the elements, with no protection, quite often for days with no access to food or water. When the trapper arrives is has been documented that some like to torment the animal while it is trapped and then they will brutally kill the animal (quite often by drowning, strangulation, beating, the trapper will stand on the animal so it can’t breathe, the animal thrust against trees or other rocks, or any other method the trapper prefers. If anyone did this to someone’s pet they would be put in jail in most states and it is unclear why pets are protected like this but wildlife is not. The Wildlife Refuge system was created as a safe haven for wildlife and it should be but with hunting and trapping allowed it is clearly not a safe haven for wildlife nor is it safe for the people who wish to enjoy nature’s beauty.

The Wolf Army 3 years ago

Every year thousands of animals are trapped on National Wildlife Refuges Wildlife including coyotes, bobcats, otters, fox, wolves, and beavers—often for “recreation” and profit (fur). Wildlife champion Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has reintroduced legislation to end the use of body-gripping traps used to trap and kill wildlife within National Wildlife Refuges. H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, helps to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System – to provide a safe-haven for wildlife – by banning the use of cruel body-gripping traps within the refuge system. More than half of our nation’s National Wildlife Refuges allow the use of bodygripping traps including steel jaw leg-hold traps, Conibear traps, and snares. Animals may suffer for hours or days — struggling to free themselves from the long-drawn-out pain inflicted by the traps. Because they are inherently non-selective, body-gripping traps frequently capture and kill the very species National Wildlife Refuges are supposed to protect including Bald eagles, Canada Lynx and Gray Wolves. H.R. 2657, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, will ban these wildlife landmines helping to ensure that our National Wildlife Refuge System remains a true sanctuary for wild animals.

Project Coyote 3 years ago

Organizations Opposing

No organizations opposing yet.

Users Supporting

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because this bill seeks to end a horrible form of animal cruelty taking place in national wildlife refuges. The use of body traps to catch or kill animals is a barbaric practice and urgently needs to be addressed by lawmakers who hold the power to stop it.

1 year ago

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because, trapping is a cruel and torturous method of hunting. Consider that, before the animal is found, it can remain trapped for days, and cause of death is either by exhaustion, bleeding or being preyed on by other animals, along with many other variables. Live traps are acceptable as they pose less suffering in the end of the animal's life. Please take these things into consideration.

2 years ago

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because... I value the wild lands. The Wolf is an integral part of the wild community. I have heard a wolf howl in the forest. I've read the science backing the reintroduction of wolves. The conflict that comes with having them as neighbors is real, but I don't believe in cruel tactics to resolve the issues. Trapping, poisoning, mass gunning. There are other methods which take faculties of speech & intelligence- to design systems of control. Wolf hating, like any prejudice, amounts to basic human fears. . Deregulation is a Federal privilage- & should never be take lightly. It's totally wrong when it opens up unabashed slaughter- & gives power to ignorance. How can the mass murder of a species be okay?. People, who feel it their right to kill, rather than solve problems together, are precisely what is wrong in this country. I hope I can count on you to stand up & be counted among those who know, & educate yourselves in order to take a truly INFORMED position on this issue.This bill is a huge opportunity to go against the 'shoot first' attitude in this country. Thank you for your time & consideration on this matter.

2 years ago

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because... Wolves are an important part of a wild ecosystem because they prevent animals such as Deer and Rabbits from overpopulating their environment thus preventing food supplies for other woodland creatures from being eaten. Also Wolves eat sick , injured and other unhealthy animals thus keeping strong the stock of Deer, Moose, Elk and other creatures. Take away Wolves and you will cause every ecosystem where they are found to eventually crash.

2 years ago

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because...we are only as strong as we say we are, when we are kind to those who are disadvantaged. Cruelty to animals - wild or domestic - makes us weak.

2 years ago

I support H.R. 2657: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act because...The act of trapping an animal by way of leg traps is cruel and unjust. It is not fair to the animals to endure such pain for any length of time only to be killed in the end, sometimes brutally (as if the leg trap was not enough). It pains me to know that this method of hunting is going on around me. It is wrong and should be illegal everywhere, especially in the United States, the land of the FREE. Thank you.

2 years ago

Users Opposing

No constituents opposing yet.

Bill Summary

To end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

H.R. 2656 Pension Technical Modifications Act H.R. 2658 Federal Protective Service Reform and Enhancement Act