A contentious new trapping law in a New York town would ban trapping on public lands if it passes.
On Monday March 7th, in the New York town of Grand Island, a town hall meeting was held to debate a proposed trapping law that would outlaw trapping on public lands.
As with most debates concerning trapping, proponents of the law argued against the morality of trapping. Residents also expressed safety concerns for the community and patrons of their public lands. Trapping is currently legal on the lands and there have been no recorded incidents of traps harming pets or people.
Opponents of the new trapping law that would ban public land trapping argued trapping is an important and necessary tool of animal management. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation encourages and protects the art of trapping.
Their webpage notes:
Trapping provides important benefits to New Yorkers including: the control of nuisance damage, economic benefits to trappers and people involved in the fur industry, and recreation to trappers.
The leading advocates of the new trapping law are Nicole Gerber and her fiance Dave Reilly. Gerber noted at the meeting her feeling that trapping threatens the safety of people due to the concealed nature of traps. She reported her dog had almost accidentally set off a trap on their family walk.
Residents who spoke out against the proposed new trapping law included local trapper Josh Shipman. Shipman stated he sets traps on public land and had never had an incident catching a pet in his traps. The trapper also spoke to the fact he holds as much stake in the public lands as others.
The new trapping law has not drawn a vote yet, and officials were did not weigh in on the likelihood of acceptance.