Published since 1946
California Bans Trapping
On September 4, California Governor Gavin Newsome signed the Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 that bans recreational and commercial fur trapping, halts the sale of furs taken through other forms of harvest, and eliminates the state’s fur dealer and fur agent licenses. According to the legislation, only 133 trapping licenses and four fur dealer licenses were sold in California in 2017 generating just over $16,000 in revenues for the state. Reported trapping resulted in the harvest of 1,568 animals and the sale of 1,241 pelts. California already had some of the strictest trapping regulations in the country after a 1998 ballot banned use of body gripping traps.
The legislation states: “Historically, fur trapping played a significant role in the extirpation of wolves and wolverines and the severe declines in sea otters, fishers, marten, beaver, and other fur-bearing species in California. Because individual trappers concentrate their operations in limited geographical areas, they can locally deplete populations of the species they target, impairing the ecological functioning of the area and diminishing opportunities for wildlife watching in these areas.”
However, wildlife organizations counter that eliminating a management tool could increase negative interactions with wildlife. “It’s no secret that neither the California legislature, nor their governor, care about the ramifications of this action on citizens, nor the rights of sportsmen,” said Luke Houghton, associate state director state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance in a statement. “It’s disappointing that they continually downplay the impact this ban will have on livestock and public safety. Just a few short weeks ago a coyote attacked a pet in the Palm Spring area and in June a coyote killed a family dog inside their home in San Dimas. Ignoring all science and advice from wildlife experts, Gov. Newsom and the California legislature continue to make sure that their state is the most anti-hunting state in America.”