HUNTING INDUSTRY'S LEGISLATORS FAST-TRACK CRUEL BEAVER TRAPPING BILL - DURING BEAR HUNT!
SENATOR BOB SMITH BREAKS HIS WORD AND HOLDS LAST-MINUTE HEARING FOR S2665 TO REMOVE LIMITS ON BEAVER TRAPPING
BILL SUPPORTER HAD "NO INFORMATION" TO BACK-UP NEED FOR BILL; COMMITTEE STILL VOTES FOR IT
(See transcript below )
NJ SENATE MAY VOTE ON BILL DECEMBER 19
New Jersey's "war on wildlife" is real. In a deliberate move, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who founded a legislator caucus "guided" by all facets of the wildlife-trade - firearms, archery,ammunition manufacturers and fur interests - is deliberately exploiting the bear hunt to sneak through S2665, to erase limits on beaver trapping.
The Assembly version of this bill had been on the fast track, voted out of committee and right onto the Assembly floor, where it passed. The legislation was referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. On September 24, the office of chairman of that committee, Senator Bob Smith, informed LOHV-NJ regional director Merrilee Cichy of the following:
"Senator Smith does not plan on putting bill S2665 up for a vote in his committee."
This morning - December 12, and during the bear hunt - we learned that S2665 was added at the last minute to today's Environment and Energy Committee agenda. And that, in the "lame duck" session, Senator Sweeney has been misusing his power to press for a bill for the state's handful of trappers. Senator Smith has broken his word, and the bill may be voted on by the full Senate on December 19.
Your phenomenal response to earlier alerts drove the bill off the tracks. You must do it again.
PLEASE CALL YOUR NJ SENATOR TO STOP FAST-TRACKED BEAVER TRAPPING BILL!
OUR MESSAGE TO NEW JERSEY SENATORS IS SIMPLE: This is where it stops. It is time for the New Jersey Legislature to again represent the humane values of the majority, not 77 beaver trappers.
ACTION: Please phone and email your State Senator today. Ask him or her to oppose the Space-Sweeney cruel trapping bill (S2665/A3944) and to sponsor and support legislation prohibiting cruel body-gripping traps and snares.
CONTACT: Find your legislative district. On the left-hand side, under "Members," click on "Find your legislators." Please ask any friends, colleagues and family to do the same, and contact their Senator. Every call and email counts.
Remind your Senator that cruel trapping is very unpopular, and that legislation outlawing leghold type traps garnered massive public support. Rather than regress, it is time for New Jersey to update antiquated and inhumane trapping laws. See talking points below.
This is where it stops.
Thank you for acting in behalf of animals who cannot,
Susan Russell -
Wildlife Policy Director
Mired in apparent ethical conflicts, A3944 (Space-R24) - S2665 (Sweeney-D3) has flown through the Assembly.
The bill removes the 200 permit statutory limit for trapping beavers.
It is already permissible to kill 1,000 beavers, or half of New Jersey's entire beaver population each year (Worth a Dam).
The number of trappers who trap beaver in New Jersey is 77.
The Assembly sponsor's family has long been involved in raw furs and trapping. The Division of Fish and Wildlife's "furbearer biologist" is a member of a trapping club. His "irons in the fire" include providing trappers with more beaver and "reviewing" illegal leghold traps.
* With 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, the metal jaws of body-gripping Conibear trap crush a beaver's head, jaw, abdomen, pelvis, neck, spine, or other body part. Two powerful torsion springs create the trap's scissorlike action. More than 40 percent of trap victims die a protracted, agonizing death. Less than 15 percent die comparatively quickly.
* Body-gripping traps and drowning sets used for beaver are inhumane and should be banned throughout New Jersey. Semi-aquatic animals have slower heart rates (bradycardia), and therefore can dive, and struggle in excruciatingly painful "drowning"; traps for prolonged periods. The North American beaver can dive for up to 15 minutes.
* The beaver is a keystone species essential to forest health. Beaver ponds provide create habitat for an array of plants and animals, reduce erosion and downstream flooding, and recharge aquifers.
* On occasion, the beaver's vital ecological role can conflict with human development. Fortunately, and as recommended by a wide variety of experts, non-lethal solutions are relatively inexpensive and effective. Trapping or shooting is neither humane nor effective.
**Photo courtesy of the Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC. Beaver in a Conibear or body-gripping trap.
See previous article on the beaver trapping bill.