On Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity and Project Coyote sued the California Fish and Game Commission and Department of Fish and Wildlife for improperly managing and illegally subsidizing the states commercial trapping program.
Sadly, thousands of coyotes, foxes, badgers and other fur-bearing animals are trapped each year in California so their pelts can be sold overseas.
According to the lawsuit, the two state agencies have illegally diverted as much as half a million dollars since 2013 to subsidize commercial fur trapping in California.
“Commercial trapping is a cruel, destructive practice that shouldn’t be subsidized by California taxpayers,” said attorney Jean Su, the Center’s associate conservation director. “It’s wrong that a handful of trappers slaughter our wildlife for private profit while the state foots the bill. These animals are far more valuable as essential species in California’s web of life than as skinned pelts shipped to Russia and China.”
California law requires that the state’s costs of managing a commercial trapping program must be fully recovered through trapping license fees. The state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on wardens, biologists, and administrators to oversee and enforce trapping regulations, yet license fees cover only a tiny fraction of the program’s total costs.
“The illegal subsidization of the state’s commercial trapping program violates not just the letter of the law, but the will of the California people,” said Camilla Fox, Executive Director Project Coyote. “An overwhelming majority of Californians do not support commercial trapping.”
In the 2015-2016 license year, approximately 200 trappers purchased commercial licenses. Of those, 50 reported killing nearly 2,000 animals for fur that year, according to a department report.
Horrifically, to ensure undamaged pelts, strangulation, gassing and anal electrocution are among the cruel methods trappers use to kill the innocent animals.
If the illegal subsidy of trapping licenses is eliminated, trapping license fees would have to be set at a level that few if any trappers would likely be willing to pay, resulting in a de facto end to commercial fur tapping in California.
“It’s shocking that California still permits the inhumane slaughter of our wildlife for fur,” said Su. “it’s time the state is held accountable for its poor management of a program that benefits only a few.”
The commercial trapping of some species such as river otters, red foxes, and bobcats, whose pelts are among the most lucrative on the international fur market, are already banned. The remaining species deserve to be protected as well.
More information about the Center’s Carnivore Conservation Campaign can be found HERE while people can learn more about Project Coyote’s Predator Protection Programs HERE.
from World Animal News http://ift.tt/2ycgpHO