Massachusetts Ban on Leghold Traps Initiative, Question 1 (1996)

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The Massachusetts Ban on Leghold Traps Initiative, also known as Question 1, was on the November 5, 1996 election ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. It was approved.

The initiative prohibited the use of leghold traps, snares and the use of dogs and bait in hunting bear or bobcats.

Election results

Question 1 (Ban on Leghold Traps)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,422,006 54.7%
No790,41530.4%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

This proposed law would prohibit the use of certain traps for fur-bearing mammals, prohibit certain methods of hunting bear or bobcat, and eliminate some restrictions on who may serve on the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board.

The proposed law would prohibit the use, setting, manufacture, or possession of any trap to capture fur-bearing mammals, except common mouse and rat traps, nets, and box or cage traps that confine a whole animal without grasping any part of it. Traps designed to grip an animal's body or body part, such as steel jaw leghold traps, padded leghold traps, and snares, would be prohibited. Federal and state health officials could use such traps in case of a threat to human health or safety. Where a property owner had reasonably tried but failed to correct an animal problem on the property using a legal trap, the owner could apply for and the state Director of Fisheries and Wildlife could issue a permit to use a prohibited type of trap, except a leghold trap, for up to 30 days to correct the problem.

A person violating any of these requirements could be punished by a fine of between $300 and $1,000, or imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both, for each prohibited trap and each day of violation. A person convicted for a second violation would be required to surrender, and could never again obtain, any trapping license or problem animal control permit.

The proposed law would also prohibit the pursuit or hunting of bear or bobcat with the aid of a dog or dogs. Hunting bear using any type of bait, lure, or attraction, or knowingly hunting bear in a baited area, would also be prohibited. The Director could allow the use of dogs or bait in legitimate scientific research projects and in order to control particular animals that posed a threat to human safety or that destroyed livestock, property, or crops.

Violators could be punished by a fine of between $300 and $1,000, or imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both, for each violation. A person convicted for a second violation would be required to surrender, and could never again obtain, any hunting and dog training licenses and permits.

The proposed law would eliminate the requirement that five members of the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board have held sporting licenses in the state for five consecutive years and that four members represent fishing, hunting, and trapping interests.

The proposed law states that if any of its provisions were declared invalid, the other provisions would remain in effect.[1][2]

See also

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References

  1. Secretary of the Commonwealth, Public Document No. 43 Massachusetts Election Statistics 1996
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.