New Jersey: Oppose Cruel Trapping of Beavers

Action

None needed at this time.

Update

This bill did not pass in the prior legislative session; we will continue to monitor this issue should it return.


 

Oppose Cruel Trapping of Beavers in New Jersey - Photo by Lindsey KrauseDear Humanitarian in New Jersey,

A bill (S2492) that threatens beavers and other wildlife by removing a limit on the issuance of beaver trapping permits is expected to come up for a vote before the full New Jersey Senate as early as this Monday. At present, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife may issue 200 permits annually, and each permit allows for the killing of eight beavers. Consequently, under existing law, up to 1,600 beavers may be trapped and killed every year in New Jersey. Yet state legislators, with little explanation, propose to allow the unlimited killing of beavers.

Unfortunately, earlier this week the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted to advance this harmful and unnecessary bill that would completely eliminate the state's current annual cap on the number of beaver trapping licenses.

During Monday's committee hearing, it quickly became apparent that the politicians who support this massive beaver kill are working aggressively behind the scenes to push this bill through the legislature as rapidly as possible and with minimal attention to the public's input. Indeed, many committee members entirely ignored those testifying against the legislation. Ultimately, due to political arm-twisting, several senators who had committed to opposing this harmful bill changed their vote, choosing to favor an estimated 170 beaver trappers in New Jersey over millions of the state's residents who oppose the lethal trapping of beavers.

There is no question that this bill, if enacted, will cause increased suffering among New Jersey's wildlife, as the methods commonly used to kill beavers in the state are extremely inhumane. Conibear body-crushing traps and drowning sets with snares cause excruciating pain and protracted death. These non-selective traps also threaten non-target wildlife species and are used despite the availability of effective, humane beaver management tools. AWI has long supported the use of non-lethal methods to address wildlife-human conflicts, including conflicts attributable to beavers.