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California Proposition 4, Prohibition on Trapping Fur-Bearing Mammals (1998)

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California Proposition 4 was on the November 3, 1998 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

Proposition 4 placed new restrictions on the use of traps and poisons to capture and kill specified mammals for various purposes.

Election results

Proposition 4
Approveda Yes 4,486,989 57.44%

Of voters who cast a vote in this election, 809,003 or 9.38% did not cast a vote on Proposition 4.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Trapping Practices. Bans Use of Specified Traps and Animal Poisons. Initiative Statute.


Proposition 4.PNG

The official ballot summary said:

  • Prohibits trapping mammals classified as fur-bearing or nongame with specified traps for recreation or commerce in fur.
  • Prohibits commerce in raw fur of such mammals trapped with specified traps in California.
  • Prohibits use of steel-jawed leghold traps on wildlife mammals and dogs and cats except for padded steel-jawed traps used by government officials where it is the only way to protect human health and safety.
  • Prohibits all use of sodium fluoroacetate (Compound 1080) or sodium cyanide to poison any animal.
  • Provides misdemeanor penalties.

Fiscal impact

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 4. That estimate was:

  • Negligible annual revenue losses to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
  • Unknown enforcement costs to DFG, ranging from negligible to several hundred thousand dollars annually.
  • Unknown state and local costs to implement alternative animal control methods of several hundred thousand dollars to in the range of a couple of million dollars annually, depending on relative cost-effectiveness of alternative methods.
  • Negligible annual loss in personal income tax revenue in the context of total state General Fund revenues.

Campaign spending


Supporters of Proposition 4 spent $1,323,450. The top contributors to pass the measure were:

  • International Fund for Animal Welfare: $241,844
  • Humane Society of the United States: $221,652
  • The Ark Trust: $99,195
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): $72,337
  • Doris Day Animal League: $61,851
  • Animal Protection Institute: $58,447
  • The Fund for Animals: $24,952
  • Barbara Clapp: $15,087
  • Karen Bunting: $15,000
  • Dena Jones: $10,000


Opponents of Proposition 4 spent $508,658. The top contributors against the measure were:

  • California Farm Bureau Federation: $83,630
  • The Wildlife Legislative Fund of America: $39,124
  • California Outdoor Enthusiast Coalition: $29,000
  • National Trappers Assn., Inc.: $19,090
  • California Cattleman's Association: $10,825
  • Kern County Wool Growers: $10,000
  • California Business Political Action Commmittee (CALBUSPAC): $10,000
  • California Correctional Peace Officers Association PAC: $10,000
  • Ballot Issues Coalition: $9,000
  • California Trappers Association: $8,500

See also

External links