August 9, 2010
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Despite our efforts at the State House and your outreach to legislators, the legislature passed a trapping bill during the final hours of the formal session -- without debate or discussion. This bill will allow more trapping with the inhumane conibear body-gripping trap for certain animals.
Quickly passing complicated legislation at the very end of the session is not a good way to make public policy, especially when that legislation affects a law that was passed by 64% of the voters as a ballot initiative.
We were pleased that the Governor recently signed a bill to prevent poisonings of animals; however, now we must call him and ask him to veto this bill, H. 4943, to honor the Wildlife Protection Act and prevent more frequent use of cruel traps. This bill was just sent to the Governor. Some talking points:
- This bill would amend the Wildlife Protection Act, passed by an overwhelming 64% of the voters in 1996 as Question 1. The Wildlife Protection Act has already been amended in 2000 after extensive discussion and compromise in conference committee. The law is working now and does not need to be changed; it allows for various contingencies when people have conflicts with wildlife, while still encouraging long-term non-lethal solutions to problems.
- H.4943 removes the limit on additional emergency permits for trapping beaver with body-gripping traps and allows continual trapping. It reduces the use of non-lethal solutions as a means to resolve conflicts with animals and is therefore contrary to the ballot question.
- It also would allow the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to make determination about health or safety issues, which is not their area of expertise.
- These traps are inhumane and also capture non-target animals. The restrictions on their use balances human health and safety with unnecessary harm to animals who suffer from them. This should not be changed.
Please call Governor Patrick now at 617-725-4005 or, toll-free,
888-870-7770 (in state) and ask him to veto H. 4943.
Calls are more effective than emails but, if you cannot call, you can email the Governor via his website (scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill in the form).
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