Revised trapping regs face more comments

Staff report

Albany – Emergency trapping regulations are in place to help
avoid the accidental capture of dogs in body-gripping traps.

But trappers are hoping the regulations might be softened a bit
more after a final public comment period that ends Nov. 2.

‘This is a lot better than what we had,’ New York State Trappers
Association President Dave Leibig said of the regulations, which
were altered somewhat from their initial unveiling earlier this
year after plenty of public comment from the trapping
community.

‘At least we have something in place for the season. But we’re
encouraging trappers to make additional comments to DEC during the
30-day period (which runs from Oct. 3-Nov. 2).’

The regulations changes were prompted by several incidents
across the state last season in which dogs were caught and killed
in conibear traps. In most cases, the traps were legally set, and
some trappers blamed the pet owners for allowing their dogs to run
at large.

Leibig says it’s up to both trappers and dog owners to exercise
common sense – trappers in where they set their traps and dog
owners in where they allow their pets to roam.

‘A lot of the problems from last year stemmed from the fact that
the winter was so mild, even in the North Country,’ Leibig said.
‘People were out enjoying the warm winter at a time when they
normally wouldn’t have been, and they were walking their dogs in
areas where traps were normally set.’

DEC’s emergency regulations will take effect primarily on Oct.
25, when much of the trapping season kicks off statewide. The focus
of the changes is on the use of conibear, or body-gripping
traps.

DEC officials ‘determined that additional regulation is needed
to minimize the chance that dogs will inadvertently be caught in
these traps, while maintaining their effectiveness

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