THE GOOD NEWS: Your calls and emails stopped Senate President Sweeney's lame-duck effort to force through the Beaver Trapping Bill in the Senate! If the bill had passed the Senate, Governor Christie would have signed it, and the legislation would now be law.
THE BAD NEWS: Trappers and their agency, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, are trying again in the new session. Last week, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-3) a introduced A2410 to remove the statutory limit on beaver trapping permits.
The few trappers in the state say they make little, if any, money from the activity. It is for "recreation," they say. Trapping, whether the initial agony inflicted by the trap itself, compounded by the pain and injury caused by the animal's struggle, or the methods of kill -- stomping on the trap victim, or crushing the skull with a garden trowel (bullets damage the fur) -- has virtually no ecological, let alone ethical, justification.
It is difficult for compassionate human beings to understand how anyone could inflict the agony depicted above, and relentlessly pursue the "opportunity" to do so.
Only one thing can prevent even more beaver suffering. That is your proved, dogged opposition to this bill.
We must educate the Assembly, and quickly. Last legislative session, the former bill passed the Assembly. It was fast-tracked through the anti-wildlife Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee (stacked with hunters' legislators) and immediately sent to the floor, where the full Assembly voted for it.
We stopped the bill in the Senate. Now, we must contact the Assembly, and stop it again. By now, you know the drill.
Wildlife Policy Director
Animal Protection League of New Jersey
ACTION: CALL/EMAIL YOUR TWO ASSEMBLYPERSONS. TODAY.
Go here to find your legislators.
Remind your legislator that cruel trapping is very unpopular;
- according to Senate Environment and Energy Committee members, its few supporters provided "no information" to support it;
- the U.S. Forest Service advises that when beavers do cause problems, "trapping and shooting" is "inefficient" and that non-lethal alternatives are "effective";
- New Jersey's law prohibiting leghold type traps garnered massive public support;
- body-gripping traps are agonizingly cruel;
- accommodating a few dozen trappers is not worth the cost.
Rather than regress, it is time for New Jersey to update antiquated and inhumane trapping laws.