As we have reported, animal “rights” extremists like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are trying to ban regulated trapping in Maryland. House Bill 831 would effectively prohibit recreational trapping in Montgomery County and also limit the authority of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to manage wildlife in that county. HB831 is scheduled to be considered by the House Environmental Matters Committee on Friday, March 20.
This is not merely a county bill, as it has been introduced into the Maryland General Assembly and will be heard by the House Environmental Matters Committee. If passed, it will not only affect Montgomery County, but will establish a statewide precedent that takes traps and trap-use out of the hands of DNR, trappers and landowners. If this precedent is established, it will become much easier to expand these prohibitions to include other counties or even statewide.
HB 831 would prohibit the use of live hold foot trap and body-gripping traps by anyone in Montgomery County except an authorized agent of the DNR. This will prevent state wildlife officials, trappers and private landowners from using the most effective and humane trapping tools currently available to manage furbearers. This will influence the DNR’s ability to manage wildlife and nuisance wildlife complaints and also place an unrealistic financial burden on state government and private landowners. Landowners would no longer be allowed to use these tools to trap nuisance animals on their property; they would be forced to hire agents of DNR to handle their problems. A ban on trapping will also negatively affect game populations, as predator populations will not be effectively managed.
Please contact the members of the House Environmental Matters Committee TODAY and respectfully ask them to oppose HB 831. (Click here for contact information) The future of scientific wildlife management in Maryland may depend on it. This is one step toward allowing emotion, not science, to dictate wildlife management practices. Maryland's sportsmen must fight to ensure this precedent is not set.
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