Please Tell Your New Jersey Senator to Vote NO on Bill to Expand Cruel Beaver Trapping

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oppose Cruel Trapping of Beavers in New Jersey - Photo by Lindsey KrauseDear Humanitarian,

The New Jersey Senate is considering a bill (S2665) that threatens beavers and other wildlife by removing a limit on the issuance of beaver trapping permits. At present, the Division of Fish and Wildlife may issue 200 permits annually, and each permit allows for the killing of five beavers. This means that, under existing law, up to 1,000 beavers may be trapped and killed every year in New Jersey. Yet state legislators have, with little explanation, proposed to allow for even more killing of beavers who are one of the very few mammals known to be monogamous. Consequently, this bill, if approved, would not only permit the cruel trapping of an unlimited number of beavers but it will disrupt the social structure of family groups.

This bill, if enacted, will cause increased suffering among New Jersey's wildlife, as the methods commonly used to kill beavers in the state are extremely inhumane and non-selective. Conibear body-crushing traps and drowning sets with snares cause excruciating pain and protracted death. These traps also threaten non-target wildlife species and are used despite the availability of effective, non-lethal, and humane beaver management tools. AWI has long supported the use of these alternatives, and helped fund the production of the video The Best Beaver Management Practices and its distribution to wildlife managers who wish to control beavers without using cruel techniques.

What You Can Do:
The New Jersey Assembly passed its version of the bill (A3944) in May so it is now up to the Senate to stop this harmful and unnecessary legislation. S2665 has been added to the Environment and Energy Committee agenda, and could be voted on by the full Senate on December 19. Please contact your state senator and encourage him or her to oppose S2665.

Suggested talking points:

  • New Jersey's legislature should be working to eliminate cruel trapping practices rather than expanding their use.
  • Beavers are a keystone species that play a critical role in ecosystem health, and removing them can adversely affect many other species. Beaver dams create valuable wetland habitat, improve water quality, and control erosion.
  • The traps commonly used to kill beavers in New Jersey are inhumane and non-selective; beavers and other animals captured in these devices are crushed or drowned, and often experience prolonged suffering before death.
  • Humane, non-lethal, and effective alternatives to trapping and killing are available for beaver management if and when conflicts arise.

Please be sure to share our “Dear Humanitarian” eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their state senators as well.

As always, thank you very much for your help!


Cathy Liss

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