New Mexico panel opts to end recreational cougar trapping

New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — New regulations have been adopted by the New Mexico Game Commission that will prohibit recreational cougar trapping in the state beginning next year.

The commission voted unanimously in favor the new regulations during a meeting Thursday in Roswell.

The decision comes after Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Humane Society of the United States sued. The groups argued that indiscriminate traps and snares threatened legally protected species such as Mexican gray wolves and that hunting quotas for cougars were unsustainably high.

Under the new rules, hunting quotas for cougars will be reduced. New Mexico hunters will be permitted to kill 580 cougars over the next four years.

Trapping opponents applauded the vote but said the commission should consider doing away with all traps and snares on public lands.

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