17 April 2009

laws and legislation

Don't be the target, be on target!
Your legislators need to hear from you regularly!

On the downside: the effort to ban leg hold traps is still alive and active. On the up: saving trapping has positive economic benefits to the state

In Haverhill, Massachusetts, a sewage pipe sustained damage as trees fell on a beaver dam, causing it to collapse. [Ron Trainor, KC8CEV, Photo]

Thanks to some deceptive emotionally based lobbying, anti-hunting activists have been pretty successful pushing to ban trapping, including prohibiting Conibear traps, which are not leghold traps. Presented with strong approval before the Connecticut Environmental committee Senate Bill No. 994 "An Act Concerning Leghold Traps." In essence, the bill effectively proposes to ban trapping altogether.

If enacted, the ban would take effect on July 1, 2009.

Banning trapping would have an almost immediate impact on the environment, especially where beaver populations build dams. A late entry to the discussion deals with adverse economic impact on state revenues and costs associated with varmint control.

We cannot afford to have wildlife management tools banned because of ill-informed emotional appeals. It is vital you let legislators know what impact such a ban would have on good land conservation management practices.

If you don't know who your legislators are, click on the Connecticut Sportsmen's Association link learn who to contact and how and let them know NOW! You can also find your legislators, and what committees they serve on at the Connecticut General Assembly web page.

Massachusetts has already had the experience of finding out the immense cost of removing traps as a wildlife management tool. The state is now trying to find other ways to deal with beaver damages. Since the habitat range of the beaver is widespread, the potential for damage is extensive.

Read more about the impact of this proposed legislation, as well as more on the Conibear trap at Jeff Serena's Nature Examiner web page.
UPDATE : As of Wednesday, 15th April, I'm told that "...The leghold trap bill died for lack of action in the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon. There may be an effort to revive it as an amendment, but legislators REALLY don't want to vote on it..." Let's remain vigilant, for the session is not over until it's over and you never know who will tack parts of this bill onto something else as a "Rat" amendment. [A legislative "Rat" is a bill or an amendment slipped in quietly to favor a friend or special interest].

THANKS TO: Bob Crook with the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen for keeping us all informed about this subject. I also want to thank another, unnamed, lobbyist for additional tracking of Bill 994.

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