Call to Action



For the past few years, the legislature introduced a bill that will prohibit the use of foothold (leghold) traps, A3467 and S4459. We were never too concerned about this bill because the Republicans always held the majority in the Senate. Now all three houses are Democrat controlled and can pass any law they want. We still have friends on the other side of the aisle, but as we all can see, when it comes to politics all bets are off. Normally bills that concern us usually do not hit committee until the last month or so of the legislative session. We are about halfway through session now, so I am asking trappers and all sportsmen alike to contact their Senator and Assemblymen and the committee chairs in both houses to oppose this bill and ask the committee chairs to not present this bill in committee. If it does hit committee, I will be asking everyone to do another round of opposition.

Below is NYSTA’s official letter sent to all committee members. I ask you to be polite and respectful whenever you contact the legislature.


Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair, Todd Kaminsky email,

Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair, Steven Englebright email,


A3467 (L. Rosenthal)

S4459 (Addabbo)

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law (ECL), in relation to prohibiting the use of leg-grip traps (foot-hold traps).


The New York State Trappers Association (NYSTA) has reviewed the proposed changes to the ECL and is in opposition to these changes.


The use of foot hold traps is a necessary wildlife management tool that is supported by wildlife agencies and biologists throughout North America. According to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, $40 million dollars have been invested in the development of Best Management Practices for trapping (BMPs). Since the inception of this program in 1997, over 600 trap types have been evaluated for 23 species of furbearers with a North American investment of some $40 million dollars.[1]


Foot hold traps have been used in efforts to protect ‘at risk’ animal species from predation during vulnerable life cycle periods. Sea turtles, nesting sea birds and ground nesting terrestrial birds are among those species benefited. Additionally, restoration of wildlife species to their former ranges continues to be possible with the use of foot hold traps. River Otter, Grey, Red and Mexican wolves have benefitted. Beaver is just one example of a successful restoration of a nearly extinct species.


The information given to justify this bill is inaccurate. It is not based on fact. Box traps are not an appropriate substitute replacement for foot hold traps. Animals are not immobilized; they are restrained by a foot which allows the option of release of an unharmed animal. Trapping seasons are set to avoid the time when offspring are reared.


The American Veterinary Medical Association supports the BMP trapping recommendations.[2] The majority of trappers implement these standards in their trapping methods.


Without wildlife population management, increased populations will lead to transmission of disease and starvation. Mange, distemper, rabies, canine parvo virus, tularemia, raccoon roundworm can all be transmitted to pets as well as humans, thereby introducing health risks to the general population. Further, increasing populations of coyote, raccoon and other species in suburban areas will increase human-wildlife conflict as has been amply reported throughout the US and Canada.


Unmanaged wildlife populations have been shown to have detrimental and costly impacts on homeowners, farmers, and municipalities. Property damage, livestock predation and exposure to transmittable diseases are among those impacts.


It is for the above reasons that the New York State Trappers Association opposes this legislation. 

Respectfully submitted,


David Leibig

Executive Director