Washington Animal Trapping Act, Initiative 713 (2000)

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Washington Initiative Measure 713, also known as the Animal Trapping Act, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People, where it was approved.

The ballot title question asked of voters was, "Shall it be a gross misdemeanor to capture an animal with certain body-gripping traps, or to poison an animal with sodium fluoroacetate or sodium cyanide?"

Election results

Initiative 713
Approveda Yes 1,315,903 54.61%

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Initiative Statute

Explanatory Statement by Attorney General: This measure would make it a gross misdemeanor to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, neck snare, or other body-gripping trap to capture any mammal for recreation or commerce in fur. "Body-gripping trap" would mean a trap that grips an animal's body or body part, and would include, among others, steel-jawed leghold traps, padded-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps, neck snares, and nonstrangling foot snares. Cage and box traps, suitcase-type live beaver traps, and common rat and mouse traps would not be considered "body-gripping traps."

It would be unlawful to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange the raw fur of a mammal or a mammal that has been trapped in this state with a steel-jawed leghold trap or any other body-gripping trap. It would also be unlawful to use or authorize the use of body-gripping traps for any "animal," which is defined as any nonhuman vertebrate.

For limited purposes, the director of fish and wildlife could grant special permits for the use of Conibear traps in water, padded leghold traps, and nonstrangling type foot snares. The director could permit these types of traps to be used to protect people from threats to their health and safety, or after making a written finding that an animal problem could not be abated by the use of nonlethal control tools. The director could also issue permits for the conduct of legitimate wildlife research. The director could authorize the use of certain traps by state employees or agents to protect threatened or endangered species, if that is the only practical means. Even with any of the above permits, the trapper could not lawfully sell the fur of the animal trapped.

The measure would also make it a gross misdemeanor to poison or attempt to poison any animal using sodium fluoroacetate (also known as Compound 1080) or using sodium cyanide.

Violations could result in criminal penalties in addition to revocation of trapping licenses. Persons with multiple convictions would be ineligible to receive any more trapping licenses.

See also

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