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March 23, 2012 > Legislation to stop inhumane trapping practices and protect consumers

Legislation to stop inhumane trapping practices and protect consumers

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) introduced legislation on February 27, 2012 to provide consumer protection for wildlife trapping and prohibit the most inhumane trapping practices.

Senate Bill 1480 institutes several consumer notification measures to protect consumers and wildlife from unlawful trapping practices. The bill requires trappers to provide a written contract to consumers to help them make informed choices when they have wildlife problems or property damage, directs the state Department of Fish and Game to maintain a list on its website of licensed trappers to ensure the public can locate licensed trappers and outlaws the most heinous methods of animal killing, such as drowning and chest crushing, that are considered unnecessarily cruel.

"This bill helps consumers find legitimate and experienced trappers," Corbett said. "It's time we stopped turning a blind eye to the inhumane practices used by some wildlife trappers."

SB 1480 follows up on a 2003 law requiring anyone offering wildlife trapping services to the public for profit to obtain a license from the state Department of Fish and Game. The department, however, has not had sufficient resources to police trappers and has not issued any regulations that would serve as guidelines for trappers that offer their services to the public.

The measure is sponsored by Born Free USA and the San Francisco Wildlife Center, and it is supported by the Humane Society of the United States.

"This important bill will increase protections for wildlife, reduce the chances of family dogs and cats being inadvertently killed in traps and will help consumers make informed decisions," said Monica Engebretson, the senior program associate for Born Free USA. "Our organization has worked for many years to address this issue and we are grateful to Senator Corbett for introducing this bill."

"Wildlife rehabilitation centers, funded through donations, are inundated with baby mammals whose mothers have been killed by for-profit trappers every year," said Jamie Ray, Director of San Francisco's Wildlife Hospital & Non-Lethal Wildlife Damage Control Services.

"This legislation will help the public make informed choices when hiring someone to help them address a wildlife behavior that is bothersome or damaging their property," Ray said. "I applaud Senator Corbett for introducing a bill that reflects the values of our ever more humane and environmentally conscious society."

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