New Hampshire Legislation
Born Free USA position: SUPPORT
Update (June 30, 2014): This bill was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hassan.
Update: This bill was weakened through amendments in the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee. These changes are reflected in the italicized portion of the bill description below.
As originally introduced, this bill would have prohibited the use of any type of steel-jaw leghold or foothold trap, off-set or padded jaw trap, egg-trap, body-crushing conibear traps, tightening or non-tightening snares, or any similar traps. There would have been 4 exemptions to this prohibition:
1. A wildlife control operator may use these traps for animal damage control work until September 30, 2017, and after that only as specially permitted by the Fish and Game Department during a period of transition to alternative techniques.
2. Small traps designed for rats and mice and used in buildings are not prohibited.
3. A person licensed for trapping may use prohibited traps to safely capture an animal in order to rescue that animal.
4. A person with a permit may use prohibited traps for scientific research.
5. Members of the Fish and Game Department or assigned wildlife control operators may use prohibited traps if there is an emergency and it is necessary to protect the safety of humans, wild animals, or domestic animals.
The penalties would have been a violation and loss of trapping license for the first offense, and a misdemeanor for each subsequent offense.
As amended, H.B. 1579 adds penalties for violations of trapping laws and rules which result in the injury or death of a domestic animal. The bill requires trapping education for license applicants who have not held a trapping license in this state during any of the previous 3 years. This bill also establishes a committee to study the administration of trapping laws and rules and the issuance of trapping licenses by the Fish and Game Department, including education requirements and penalties for violations.
Check out our trapping page for more information on these brutal devices.
While the amended bill is significantly weaker than the introduced version, it is still better than not regulating this merciless "sport" at all. Born Free USA hopes that this legislation is the first step toward outlawing trapping in NH.
A similar bill, H.B. 1514, was introduced in 2010 but failed to pass.
Read the bill text here.