Trappers Can't Fight Ban On Leg Hold Traps
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Trappers Can't Fight Ban On Leg Holds
San Francisco - A federal court has dismissed a challenge by wildlife trappers seeking to overturn a state ban on steeljawed leg-hold traps and some poisons.
U. S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled this week that the National Trappers Association didn't have standing to file the lawsuit, which said federal law pre-empted a ballot measure approved by voters in 1998, Proposition 4.
Henderson, in a decision issued Monday, said the trappers couldn't show that the measure caused them "concrete injury" or loss of livelihood. Just because they had to change trapping and poisoning practices to meet the state law didn't confer standing to sue, he said.
Steve Fitzwater of Dubois, Idaho, president of the National Trappers Association, said he would meet with the group's board of directors and decide whether to appeal.
The measure was designed to protect wildlife and pets from inhumane sport and commercial trapping methods. It bans snares and traps that grip any part of an animal's body and also banned two poisons - compound 1080 and sodium cyanide - that have been used to kill coyotes and foxes.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in 2002 that the proposition doesn't apply to government agencies trying to protect endangered species.
In another matter, the state Fish and Game Commission withdrew two proposals Thursday. One would allow hunting and trapping of red foxes for the first time. The other would have extended the trapping season for bobcats.
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