- On December 8, the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held a public hearing on B24-0758 – a fur products ban that fails to account for the unique benefits that trapping provides for our society.
- The stated intent of the bill claims to target fur production farms, but the effects would most certainly have negative ramifications on the practice of trapping.
- Trapping and regulated take are important components of modern wildlife management, touching upon one of the many reasons that the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation submitted testimony to the Committee encouraging a swift rejection of this fur ban.
- At this time, B24-0758 is still under Council review.
Why It Matters: Trapping holds an irreplaceable role in managing wildlife damage, protecting threatened ecosystems, and serving as an integral component of modern wildlife management. Whether intentional or not, efforts that undermine this practice, such as fur product bans, may seem minuscule in nature but serve to have wide-sweeping consequences. Trapping is unique in that it is used in many facets of wildlife management, from population control to human-wildlife conflict resolution, and even data collection. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) ardently advocates for trapping access and opportunities across the nation and is proud to hold a Memorandum of Understanding with Fur Takers of America and the National Trappers Association.
Earlier this month, on December 8, the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety hosted a public hearing for B24-0758 – legislation that would make it illegal to “sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, or otherwise distribute for monetary or nonmonetary consideration any fur product in the District of Columbia.” If put into effect, this bill would limit the available fur markets for trappers, thereby deterring demand, lowering prices, and resulting in fewer overall trappers. For this reason, and several more, CSF submitted testimony opposing B24-0758.
As was previously reported, policy efforts to restrict and/or outright ban the practice of trapping based on the misbelief that it is unethical or cruel continue to arise across the nation. What anti-trappers fail to realize is that extensive research has been conducted on restraining traps through annual appropriations from Congress to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, resulting in the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in 1996. State fish and wildlife agencies have adopted these BMPs through their regulatory processes to ensure that the most effective, selective, and humane technology is being used.
Well-regulated and monitored traps can minimize the possibility of non-target capture, and aid in restoring ecosystems to better support native wildlife populations. Trapping is therefore often utilized by professional wildlife managers as a useful research tool for compiling data for disease control and studies. By banning the sale of fur products, legislation such as B24-0758 will undermine the uniquely valuable benefits our society reaps from the practice of trapping.
The trapping community routinely goes out of its way to advocate on behalf of hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters across the nation. They are often one of the first groups of outdoorsmen and women to provide their assistance in fighting back against anti-sportsmen’s policies, primarily because their practice is regularly under attack. CSF thanks the many trapping organizations across the nation who step up to the plate and fight for all sportsmen and women regardless of pursuit. CSF is proud to work alongside America’s trappers in fighting legislation such as B24-0758. Updates on this topic will be provided as they are made available.