Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2014

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Legislature:

Contested trapping regulations approved

A legislative committee has approved a controversial regulation aimed at preventing stray dogs or cats from being caught in a metal claw-type trap in residential areas in Clark and Washoe counties.

"No one group is satisfied with the regulation, but they can live with it," said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden of the state Department of Wildlife.

The Legislative Subcommittee to Review Regulations on Thursday approved the state Wildlife Commission's rule to prohibit a person from using jaw-like traps to catch fur-bearing animals within half a mile of a residence in a congested area of the two counties.

In testimony during the 2011 Legislature, residents complained their dogs or cats were caught in these traps, resulting in broken legs or other injuries.

Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said citizens also complained that their dogs were snagged in these traps while walking on trails and that trappers would not check the traps within 72 hours if the domestic animal was caught.

The Legislature told the Wildlife Commission to draft regulations.

The regulation permits the use of a box or a cage to trap the animals in residential areas. The animal is lured into the box or cage, which then closes but doesn't clamp metal on the foot.

Buonamici said licensed trappers like to catch fur-bearing animals such as bobcats or coyotes and sell their furs. He said the state held two public hearings each in Las Vegas and Reno.

"We received a tremendous amount of input," he said. "This has been controversial."

Parks said he expected the issue to be debated again in the 2013 Legislature.

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