New Hampshire House Bill 1579
New Hampshire, it appears, is the next state in a growing list (i.e. Washington, California, Colorado, Massachusetts) that is dealing with yet another attempt to ban equipment used in wildlife management and wildlife damage management. The equipment to be banned includes, footholds, padded-jaw footholds (pictured to the right), cable-restraints, snares, and encapsulated-foot traps. In short, everything is banned except cage traps, box traps, and mouse and rat traps.
This bill like many others exemplifies utter ignorance of both the tools and the realities facing those tasked with wildlife control activities.
Let me list a few reasons why this bill is, to put it bluntly, stupid.
- The bill will prohibit the Collarum Trap that is one of the most selective and humane devices on the market today. In fact, it is so useful dog catchers use it to catch stray dogs.
- Effectively eliminates the harvesting of fur, which is one of the most environmentally friendly industries in the U.S. IN fact, fur harvesting protects property and enables landowners to obtain financial benefits from leaving land undeveloped.
- Will cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the increased costs incurred to control beavers and other problem wildlife. Fur trappers often trap for free. In fact, they pay the state (with license fees) to work for free. I strongly suggest that will change if this law passes. In short, this bill is a hidden tax to landowners.
- This law requires trappers to use tools that are, in some circumstances, less humane than the devices banned by the bill.
- This law prohibits traps that haven’t even been invented yet thereby eliminating the possibility that traps even more humane than cage traps could be legally used.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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