California Just Became the First State to Ban Commercial Fur Trapping

Trapping for commercial reasons is now illegal in the California, the first state to outlaw the practice.

Hundreds of years after fur trappers helped shape the American west during the Gold Rush, California has outlawed the practice of commercial fur trapping.

According to Fox News, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill banning trapping, AB273, into law last week from his Sacramento office. "Not only is it cruel, but California's wildlife is on swift decline from fur trapping," Newsom tweeted. "Glad to put a ban on this practice for the safety of our furry friends."

The legislation was introduced by assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. She echoed the governor's thoughts in her comments on the subject. "Fur trapping is a cruel practice that has no place in 21st century California," Gonzalez said of the ban.

Under the new commercial trapping ban, the only trapping now allowed in California will be for pest control uses. The ban comes about after years of opposition to trapping from groups like the Center for Biological Diversity.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the number of commercial trappers has been declining steadily in recent years. Only 133 licenses were sold last year. Those trappers reported harvesting just 1,568 animals, of which only 1,241 pelts or fur products were sold.

On the flip side, approximately 500 trapping licenses are issued for pest control purposes each year, but the number of animals taken is unknown.

The law flew under the radar a little bit with more mainstream news, but animal rights and environmental groups immediately took to social media to celebrate the ban.

The idea to ban fur trapping is nothing new. Another state that has notably been toying with the idea is New Mexico. The result has been a proposal to ban trapping in select public land areas near major cities. Wisconsin, Connecticut and surprisingly, Montana have also seen bills proposing bans recently.

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