NDOW concerned over enforcement of game trapping bill

The Nevada Department of Wildlife has opposed a Nevada trapping bill on the grounds that it would be too difficult to enforce as written.

While the bill, SB 213, won’t affect NDOW’s ability to trap big game animals like bears and mountain lions in the Lake Tahoe Basin, it would tighten trapping laws in Nevada, according to NDOW spokesman Chris Healy.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee heard arguments on the bill Thursday. Citizens worried about the danger of the traps while trappers argued that the bill wasn’t practical, according to an Associated Press article.

For the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the current draft of SB 213 would create regulations almost impossible to enforce, Healy said Friday.

“Basically, as written, there were a number of technical issues that would have made it very difficult for our law enforcement,” Healy said.

The bill mandates that trappers register and flag all their traps. It requires trappers to check the traps daily instead of every 96 hours. The bill would also allow people to disturb a trap if the device “creates an immediate and obvious risk of injury or death to any person, pet or service animal,” according to the legislative text.

If the bill becomes law, NDOW would be tasked with writing the administrative codes to make sure trappers abide by the regulations.

But mandating trappers to check traps every 24 hours would bring the devices closer to population centers, Healy said. Allowing people to tamper with traps is also tricky since it’s difficult to define what constitutes immediate danger or risk, he said.

“It’s a very emotional issue because a lot of people don’t like trapping. But we also understand it has a long tradition in the state,” Healy said. “It’s a tough issue because we serve both sides. We want people to be safe but we want the activity to continue.”

As of Friday afternoon, the Senate Natural Resources Committee had not taken action on the measure.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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