Washington Governor
Vetoes Trapping Bill
Governor Gary Locke has disregarded the sportsmen’s voice and vetoed a bill to allow trapping in Washington.  Trapping was banned at the ballot in 2000.

Governor Locke apparently caved to pressure from out-of-state animal rights groups and vetoed SB 5179, a bill to allow the use of traps for population control, scientific research and nuisance wildlife.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard), had passed the Senate by a vote of 37 to 12 and the House by a vote of 52 to 46.

Washington sportsmen have been working to reinstate trapping since Initiative 713 passed in 2000.  In the general election that year, voters were misled by the campaign of anti-hunting organizations and banned the activity by a vote of 55 to 45 percent.  Once the initiative passed, the state attorney general ruled that traps could not be used to control nuisance wildlife.  As a result, private property damage from moles, gophers and coyotes has skyrocketed.

“It’s important to remember that Governor Locke was a supporter of I-713 in the first place,” said Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.  “Clearly, he is sympathetic to the animal rights philosophy and his refusal to help the sportsmen, homeowners and agricultural interests is proof.  We can only hope that Washington voters remember where Governor Locke’s loyalties are and how he failed to help them when he had the chance.” 

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