Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE
Update (6/11/14): Governor Snyder signed this bill into law.
Allows a licensed fur dealer to trap beavers.
Beavers can be trapped now under Michigan law, but this measure would allow fur dealers to trap – something that has been outlawed at least as far back as the early 1900s. This is problematic not only in that it increases cruel trapping incidents, but also in that beaver populations have been imperiled in the past, and their numbers may become critically low again. S.B. 759 does not rely on science; there are no exact statistics for changes in beaver population. However, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association – a major supporter of the bill – and other pro-trappers only care that they can make money selling the pelts they acquire from their “hobby.”
Some proponents of this bill have claimed that beaver populations are getting too high, and their damns threaten residential areas with flooding. However, if the aim is to reduce beaver populations, this is the wrong way to do it. Naturalists have repeatedly demonstrated that, short of wiping out the species, hunts to reduce population just don’t work. When wild populations are culled, they simply reproduce more rapidly due to a sudden abundance of food and space. Increasing opportunities for trapping will be both cruel and ineffective, wasting the lives of countless animals.
Read our “Trapping and Fur Trade” page for more information about the inherent cruelty of this industry.
Michigan residents, write to your state legislators and to Governor Snyder to let them know how disappointed you are that they passed this bill.
Read the full text here.