Washington Animal Trapping Act, Initiative 713 (2000)

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The Washington Animal Trapping Initiative, also known as Initiative Measure 713, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot as an Initiative to the People in Washington, where it was approved. This initiative made it a gross misdemeanor to hunt animals with body-gripping traps or poison.

Election results

Washington Initiative 713 (2000)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,315,903 54.61%
No1,093,58745.39%

Election results via the Washington Secretary of State.[1]

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[2]

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?[3]

Support

Arguments in favor

These arguments in support appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[4]

VOTE "YES" ON 1-713 TO RESTRICT CRUEL AND DANGEROUS STEEL-JAWED LEGHOLD TRAPS AND DEADLY POISONS STEEL-JAWED LEGHOLD TRAPS ARE CRUEL AND INHUMANE

Steel-jawed leghold traps and other body-gripping animal traps cause severe injury and suffering to wildlife and pets, causing lacerations, broken bones, and joint dislocations. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the World Veterinary Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association declare steel-jawed leghold traps "inhumane."

TRAPS AND POISONS POSE A DANGER TO CHILDREN, FAMILY PETS, AND ENDANGERED SPECIES AND ARE INDISCRIMINATE

Steel traps and lethal poisons such as sodium cyanide do not discriminate, victimizing any creature that stumbles upon them including eagles, cats, and dogs. They are like land mines. For every target" animal killed by a trapper, studies indicate there are up to ten "non-target" victims.

ANIMALS SUFFER PROLONGED AND PAINFUL DEATHS IN STEEL-JAWED LEGHOLD TRAPS AND OTHER BODY"'GRIPPIN~ TRAPS

Animal victims languish in traps without food or water and with no protection from the elements or predators. Some animals chew off their feet to escape. Trappers kill animals by stomping, bludgeoning, and strangulation.

1-713 PROTECTS PEOPLE, LANDOWNERS, RANCHERS, THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

1-713 does not ban all trapping. It prohibits the use of cruel traps for commercial and recreational purposes. Exceptions allow the use of certain body-gripping traps to protect human health and safety, private property, livestock, or threatened and endangered species or for wildlife research. Rat, mouse, and cage traps are exempted. 1-713 is a reasonable and common sense measure that brings Washington's trapping policies into the 21st century.

1-713 HAS BROAD SUPPORT

1-713 is endorsed by more than eighty-five conservation groups including eight Audubon Society chapters and lead- ing environmental organizations, veterinarians, and elected officials including the Seattle City Council. Three thousand volunteers gathered a quarter of a million signatures to qualify 1-713 for the ballot. For more information, call' 206.526.0949 or e-mail bantraps@ seanet.com or visit www.bancrueltraps.org.

Rebuttal of Statement Against

1-713 targets steel-jawed leghold traps and other inhumane and indiscriminate traps used for fur trapping and two poisons- nothing more, nothing less. 1-713 opponents can't defend fur trapping so they mislead voters with outrageous and false claims. 1-713 allows body-gripping traps to protect public health and safety, property, livestock, and endangered species. It doesn't ban trapping of moles, gophers, mice, or rats- animals not trapped for fur. Ever seen a mole coat? Neither have we.[3]

Supporters

The following individuals signed the argument in support of Initiative 713 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Shirley Muse, Blue Mountain Audubon Society
  • John Grandy, Humane Society of the United States
  • Jack Laufer, wildlife biologist
  • Tim Coleman, Kettle Range Conservation Group
  • Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director, Washington Trout
  • Dr. Larry Siegler, veterinarian

Opposition

Arguments against

These arguments in opposition appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[5]

1-713 IS A FATALLY-FLAWED, POORLY WORDED, ILL-CONCEIVED MEASURE DRIVEN BY POLITICAL AGENDA. PLEASE VOTE NO.

If 1-713 becomes law the result will have broad unintended ramifications, including hurting efforts to control pests, disease research and recover endangered species. Regulating wildlife by ballot creates unresponsive resource management systems that put people and property at risk. The issues are too complex, the risks too high. Science, not animal rights rhetoric, should control wildlife management.

1-713 IS TOO EXTREME AND UNREASONABLE. WE WON'T BE ABLE TO TRAP MOLES AND GOPHERS!

1-713 prevents homeowners from trapping moles or gophers and creates numerous other resource management problems that could require the taxpayers to be ultimately responsible tor paying tor costly wildlife-related damage claims and lawsuits. 1-713 would create a new, expensive bureaucracy in state government. The measure allows for certain processes but does not say how, or who, pays. Costs could run into the millions.

SCIENCE SHOULD DECIDE OUR PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY. IS 1-713 WORTH RISKING OUR EARLY WARNING SYSTEM?

1-713 places the Washington State Zoonotic Disease Surveillance Program administered by the Department of Health at risk - making it much harder to control bubonic plague, rabies, hantavirus and other animal borne pathogens dangerous to humans. 1-713 makes it more difficult and much more expensive for state wildlife agencies to control predators and other nuisance animals. 1-713 takes wildlife management out of the hands of scientists and professional managers and puts it into the hands of untrained bureaucrats.

WHY BAN A POISON THAT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL? MISLEADING POLITICS MASQUERADING AS SOUND PUBLIC POLICY.

1-713 is misleading. It bans a poison that is already illegal and claims that environmental, disease control and other critical functions performed by trapping are protected. They are not. It is an emotional proposal driven by politics, not science, that contributes nothing to resolving the habitat and pollution problems impacting our wildlife.

For more information, call 360.379.1057 or visit www.ResponsibleWildlifeManagement.org.

Rebuttal of Statement For

1-713 does not protect landowners, ranchers or endangered species. If it did the Washington State Cattlemen and Sheep Producers Associations would not have joined the Wildlife Society - the best wildlife management scientific minds. available - and over 200 other organizations and public opinion leaders in opposing 1-713. Do not be misled by political rhetoric·and misleading information. Please cast a common sense vote important to responsible wildlife management and just say "No" to 1-713.[3]

Opponents

The following individuals signed the argument in opposition of Initiative 713 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Ed Owens, Chair, Citizens for Responsible Wildlife Management
  • Jamey Layman, Director, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council
  • Tony Wells, Director, Citizens for Washington Wildlife
  • Mrs. B.J. Thorniley, Director, Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation
  • Linda Johnson, Government Relations, Washington Farm Bureau
  • Morgan Grant, President, Washington Game Warden Association

Path to the ballot

Initiative 713 was filed on January 7, 2000 by Lisa A. Wathne of Seattle. 261,268 signatures were collected to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[6]

See also

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