McGeorge School of Law

Proposition 4

Proposition 4:
Wildlife, Body-Gripping Traps Ban, Animal Poison

By Connie Chan

Copyright © 2000 by University of the McGeorge School of Law

JD, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
to be conferred 1999
B.A., Philosophy, California State University, Sacramento, 1995

 

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

General Description

Ballot Measure Summary

Ballot Pamphlet Text

Text of Proposition 4

 

The Initiative Review is produced by the Governmental Affairs Student Association of the McGeorge School of Law


Chapter 1

Executive Summary

 

Proposition 4 addresses fur trapping and poisoning of animals. Proposition 4 amends the Fish and Game Code to add Section 3003.1 relating to body-gripping traps, Section 3003.2 relating to poisoning of animals using sodium fluoroacetate ("Compound 1080"), and Section 12005.5 relating to penalties for the prohibited acts.

Section 3003.1 would prohibit the use of any body-gripping traps on fur-bearing mammals, non-game mammals, game mammals, protected mammals, and dogs and cats. Body-gripping traps include, but are not limited to, steel-jawed leg-hold traps, padded-jawed leg-hold traps, conibear traps, and snares.

Section 3003.2 would prohibit any person, including government employees, from using sodium fluoroacetate, also known as Compound 1080, or sodium cyanide, to poison any animal.

 

Chapter 2

General Description

A. BAN ON BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS

Proposition 4 proposes to add Section 3003.1 to the Fish and Game Code. Current state law permits the use of conibear traps, snares, small steel-jawed leg-hold traps with specified regulatory requirements, in addition to padded-jaw leg-hold traps. Currently, landowners and federal, state, and local government employees may capture or kill certain mammals that cause damage to crops, livestock, and other property; kill other endangered species; or pose a threat to public health and safety. The approval of this measure will repeal Department of Fish and Game Regulations which permit various traps including padded leghold, conibear types, snares, dead-falls, cage traps and other devices designed to confine, hold, grasp, clamp or crush mammals. (Cal. Code Regs. tit. 14, ' 465.5 (1997).)

Proposition 4 will ban the use of the aforementioned traps by any person, including the Department of Fish and Game, and employees of the federal, state, county or municipal government, from using the aforementioned traps, even for scientific, educational or propagation purposes. The only exception is where the padded-jawed leghold trap is the only method available to protect human health or safety under extraordinary cases.

 

1. Comparable Bills Introduced in the Congress

Proposition 4 is similar to two bills recently introduced in the 105th Congress: Senate Bill (S.B.) No. 1557 and House Resolution (H.R.) No. 1176. As introduced, both S.B. 1557 and H.R. 1176 proposed to end the use of steel-jaw leghold traps on animals in the United States. These bills would prohibit the import, export, or shipment in interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and articles of fur derived from animals trapped in such traps. H.R. 1176 and S.B. 1557 are intended to bring United States into compliance with a European Union regulation banning the importation of fur pelts.

While the two bills target the interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and fur products derived from animals caught in such traps, Proposition 4 prohibits the trade of raw fur obtained from mammals trapped in California with a body-gripping trap banned in Section 3003.1(a). Proposition 4 does not prohibit the sale or exchange of steel-jaw leghold traps or any other traps listed in the section.

 

2. Global Perspectives

In 1991, the European Union (EU) General Affairs Council enacted Regulation 3254/91, which prohibits the use of leghold traps in the European Community and bans importation of fur pelts from countries that do not ban such traps or use trapping methods which meet internationally-accepted humane trapping standards. (Steve Charnovitz, The Moral Exception in Trade Policy, 38 Va. J. Int'l L. 689, 736 (1998).) Regulation 3254/91, or the European Union Leghold Trap Fur Import Ban, was originally scheduled to go into effect in 1995. (Id.) However, its implementation was delayed by opposition from Canada, Russia, and the United States. (Patricia Doyle, The European Community and Wildlife Supervision: the Sovereign Right to Protect National Resources, 9 N.Y. Int'l L. Rev. 49, at 64 (1996).) In 1997, those three nations threatened international trade sanctions through the World Trade Organization if the EU implemented the ban; thus a compromise agreement was reached to phase out the use of leghold traps. (EU Approves Trapping Standards Deal After U.S. Persuades Germany, Inside U.S. Trade, Dec. 19, 1997 at 4.)

The compromise agreement gives the United States at least six more years to phase out the use of leghold traps. If Congress does not enact the two bills or other similar bills, it would be left to the individual states to implement a ban on the use of leghold traps. Currently, there are six states that have restrictions or ban the use of leghold and other traps: Rhode Island, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Colorado.

 

B. PREEMPTION ISSUES

The Supremacy Clause of the United State Constitution, article VI, clause 2, provides that law of the United States "shall be the law of the land; . . . any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." Issues arising under the "Supremacy Clause >starts with the assumption that the historic police powers of the States are not to be superseded by . . . [federal laws] unless that is the clear and manifest purpose of Congress." (Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc, (1992) 505 U.S. 504, 516, citing Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp., (1947) 331 U.S. 218, 230.) State law will be preempted where the "federal regulation [is] so pervasive as to make reasonable the inference that Congress left no room for the States to supplement it, o[r] . . . the federal interest is so dominant that the federal system will be assumed to preclude enforcement of state laws ..., [or a] conflict will be found where compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility . . " (Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., (1978) 435 U.S. 151, 157.)

Proposition 4 proposes to ban the use of body-gripping traps and sodium fluoroacetate by government employees, including federal government employees. Section 3003.1(c) would prohibit federal employees from using or authorizing the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap to capture any mammals as defined in the subsection (d), except in extraordinary cases where such trap is the only available method to protect human health or safety. The applications of the two provisions may be preempted if Congress has legislated so comprehensively in an area that there is no room for a state to supplement it or the provisions would conflict with federal law.

 

1. Section 3003.1(c) of Proposition 4

The ban on the use or authorization to use any steel-jawed leghold trap may be in conflict with various federal acts or programs administrated by the Secretary of the Interior or by the Secretary of Agriculture. For example, Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 17.84(k)(3)(ix), permits United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take any Mexican wolf that preys on livestock, attacks pets or domestic animals on private or tribal land, or for authorized scientific, research, or management purposes, using methods including leghold traps as "part of a Service-approved management plan, notwithstanding any conflicts in State or local law."(50 C.F.R. '17.84(k)(3)(ix).) Section 3003.1(c) would prohibit the use of any steel-jawed leg hold trap for any purpose, except in extraordinary cases where such trap is the only available method to protect human health or safety. Conversely, federal law permits government officials to use various trapping methods, including leg-hold traps, for various specific purposes. (50 C.F.R. 17.84(k)(3)(ix).) If Congress intended to occupy this field exclusively, or if it will be impossible for federal agents to comply with both laws, federal law may preempt Proposition 4.

States are preempted in cases where federal regulation has so pervasively preempted the area as to prohibit state action of similar character. Although there are instances where federal programs will coordinate with individual states concerning agriculture and conservation of wildlife, states are also preempted in cases where narrower conflicts exist between state and federal law. (United States v. State of New York, (N.D.N.Y. 1982) 552 F.Supp. 255.) Because Proposition 4 is a complete ban on the use of any body-gripping traps on fur-bearing mammals, the potential conflict with federal law is unlike Mega Renewables v. Shasta County, (E.D. Cal., 1986) 644 F.Supp. 491.) In Mega Renewables, the procedures the state sought to enforce were held not to be preempted by federal law because the local agency may contribute expertise and information on how to mitigate the effect of the federal project on fish and wildlife. (Id. at 496.)

Section 3003.1(c) would prohibit trapping methods, currently authorized by federal laws and regulations, and that are approved and permitted by federal agencies for conservation and management procedures. While federal law may allow state laws or regulations to be more restrictive than provided for by the applicable federal law, the ban on leghold traps in respect to federal employees may be preempted by federal law and regulations where such federal laws expressly state their intent to supersede state law, such as Title 50, Section 17.84(k)(3)(ix), of the Code of Federal Regulations. But because Section 3003.1(c) provides for an exception in extraordinary cases where such trap is the only available method to protect human health or safety, federal employees may be able to perform their duties using padded leg-hold traps.

 

2. Section 3003.2 of Proposition 4

Proposition 4 proposes to add Section 3003.2 to the Fish and Game Code as follows:

3003.2. Notwithstanding Sections 4003, 4152, 4180, or 4180.1 of the Fish and Game Code, or Section 14063 of the Food and Agricultural Code, no person, including employees of the federal, state, county or municipal government, shall poison or attempt to poison any animal by using sodium fluoroacetate, also known as Compound 1080, or sodium cyanide.

Current state law makes it unlawful for anyone to sell, use, or possess any sodium fluoroacetate, a.k.a. Compound 1080, except as otherwise provided in Food and Agricultural Code Section 14063. (Cal. Food & Agric. Code ' 14062.) While Section 14063 states that "any federal, state, county, or municipal officer or employee, in his or her official capacity, or any person under the immediate supervision of that officer or employee, may possess [sodium fluoroacetate] for use for pest control purposes," Proposition 4 would ban a government entity from using sodium fluoroacetate on any animal for any purpose, including pest control.

Section 3003.2 would ban poisoning or attempted poisoning of "any animal," using sodium fluoroacetate. The second preemption issue is whether a ban on the use of sodium fluoroacetate is preempted by Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA provides that "[a]ny person may apply to the Administrator for an experimental use permit for a pesticide." (7 U.S.C. ' 136c(a) (1982).) In Humane Society v. EPA (D.C. Cir. 1986) 790 F. 2d. 106, 108, the United States Court of Appeals, interpreting the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), held that the federal agency is statutorily authorized to award permits to the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior, and to the University of California at Davis, for experimental use of sodium fluoroacetate. (Humane Society, 790 F.2d at 108.) Section 3003.2 would in effect prohibit the Administrator from authorizing such sodium fluoroacetate permits for experimental use on animals.

FIFRA requires that all pesticides be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and permits registration only when used as directed or in accordance with commonly recognized practice, and the pesticide is "not injurious to man, vertebrate animals, or desirable vegetation." (S. REP. 92-838, 1 (June 7, 1972).) The act originally prohibited the EPA from registering pesticides that have "substantial" adverse effects on the environment. (H.R. CONF. REP. 92-1540, 30 (Oct. 5, 1972).) However, since its enactment in 1947, Congress has extensively amended FIFRA, shifting the focus on pesticide registration to concern about public health and environmental protection. (See Steven Schatzow, The Regulator's Dilemma--No Smoking Gun, 2 NAT. RESOURCES & ENV'T 28, 29 (1987).) For example, the act specifies that the terms and conditions of the proposed experiments or studies are to be conducted before the experimental use permits are issued. (See 7 U.S.C. '136c(d).)

Section 3003.2's ban on the use of sodium fluoroacetate to poison or attempt to poison any animal may pose obstacles to the congressional purposes, i.e., to monitor and control any "unreasonable" adverse impacts pesticides may have on the environment. Although the provision would prevent only one type of registered pesticide to be used in the poisoning of any animal in California, the court in Humane Society v. EPA held that EPA's "concept of -experimentation' is obviously simpler and broader, calling for no more than trials which are limited in time and nature, and which are not conducted for commercial gain."(Humane Society, 790 F.2d at 116.) By banning sodium fluoroacetate completely, Proposition 4 may frustrate the intent of Congress to allow for the "experimentation" of this particular pesticide. But if sodium fluoroacetate is found to pose a significant risk to human and environmental health and safety, Proposition 4 may not be in conflict.

 

Appendix A
Ballot Text

BALLOT MEASURE SUMMARY

 

TRAPPING PRACTICES. BANS USE OF SPECIFIED TRAPS AND ANIMAL POISONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Prohibits trapping fur-bearing or nongame mammals with specified traps. Prohibits commerce in fur of animals so trapped. Generally prohibits steel-jawed leghold traps on mammals. Prohibits use of specified poisons on animals. Fiscal Impact: Unknown state and local costs of several hundred thousand dollars to in the range of a couple of million dollars annually, depending on workload and effectiveness of alternative trapping methods.

 

BALLOT TITLE AND SUMMARY PREPARED BY

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

WILDLIFE. BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS BAN. ANIMAL POISONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

_ Prohibits trapping mammals classified as fur-bearing or nongame with specified traps for recreation or commerce in fur.

_ Prohibits commerce in raw fur of such mammals trapped with specified traps in California.

_ Permits common rat and mouse traps.

_ Prohibits use of steel-jawed leghold traps on wildlife mammals and dogs and cats except for padded steel-jawed leghold traps used by government officials where it is the only way to protect human health and safety.

_ Prohibits poisoning animals with sodium fluoroacetate (Compound 1080) or sodium cyanide.

_ Provides misdemeanor penalties.

_ Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of the fiscal impact on state and local governments: Measure would result in no new additional endorsement costs to the state to carry out its various provisions and minor losses in revenues from the issuance of trapping and fur-dealer licenses. There would be potential minor income tax revenue loss to the extent that the measure would prompt trappers to discontinue trapping and that authorized traps under the measure do not prove effective in preventing damage in livestock and other property.

Summary of Legislative Analyst's

Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

_ Negligible annual revenue losses to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

_ Unknown enforcement costs to DFG, ranging from negligible to several hundred thousand dollars annually.

_ Unknown state and local costs to implement alternative animal control methods of several hundred thousand dollars to in the range of a couple of million dollars annually, depending on relative cost-effectiveness of alternate methods.

_ Negligible annual loss in personal income tax revenue in the context of total state General Fund revenues.

 

Appendix B
Ballot Pamphlet Text


ANALYSIS BY THE LEGISLATIVE ANALYST

Proposition 4

Wildlife. Body-Gripping Traps Ban. Animal Poisons.

Initiative Statute.

Background

Current state law authorizes the use of specified traps to capture or kill for commercial and recreational purposes certain fur-bearing and nongame mammals in California. This requires a trapping license issued by the state Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Existing state law classifies mammals into various categories, including the following:

- "Fur-bearing" (mammals whose fur has commercial value, such as mink and beaver).

- "Game" (such as deer and elk, which are commonly hunted for sport and food).

- "Fully protected" (such as Bighorn sheep, which may not legally be taken in the state except under certain circumstances).

- "Nongame" (all mammals occurring naturally in California that do not belong to any of the preceding three categories).

Currently, landowners and federal, state, and local government employees may capture or kill certain mammals that cause damage to crops, livestock, and other property, kill endangered species, or pose a threat to public health and safety. Allowable methods for capturing or killing these mammals include shooting, trapping, and poisoning.

Currently, DFG, Department of Food and Agriculture, county agricultural commissioners, and water reclamation districts either operate programs to capture or kill such mammals or contract for such services with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. Only authorized federal, state, and local officials and their agents may use certain poisons, including sodium fluoroacetate and sodium cyanide, to kill mammals that cause damage to property or pose a public health hazard. The use of these two chemicals is regulated by federal and state environmental protection agencies.

 

Proposal

This measure places new restrictions on the use of traps and poisons to capture and kill specified mammals for various purposes.

 

Restrictions on Commercial and Recreational Trapping. This measure prohibits the use of "body-gripping traps" (defined as traps which grip a mammal's body or body part) for commercial or recreational trapping of fur-bearing and nongame mammals. The measure specifically identifies steel-jawed leghold traps (padded and unpadded), conibear traps, and snares as prohibited traps. Cage and box traps, nets, suitcase-type live beaver traps, and common rat and mouse traps are expressly excluded from the prohibition.

The measure also prohibits commerce in raw furs obtained by using these prohibited traps.

 

Additional Trapping Restrictions. The measure prohibits any person, including government employees, from using or authorizing the use of steel-jawed leghold traps (padded and unpadded) to capture mammals for any purpose, including the protection of livestock and other property, endangered species, and public health. Other body-gripping traps, such as conibear traps and snares, could still be used for protecting livestock and other property, endangered species, and public health, subject to existing restrictions.

An exception to the leghold trap ban would be provided for government employees, who may use a padded steel-jawed leghold trap when no other method is available to protect public health or safety.

This measure also bans the use by any person, including government employees, of sodium fluoroacetate and sodium cyanide to poison animals.

 

Fines. Violations of any of this measure's provisions would be punishable by fines and imprisonment. The Legislature would be able to increase, but not lower, those fines and penalties.

 

Fiscal Effect

To the extent this measure results in a decreased level of commercial or recreational trapping, there would be a negligible loss in revenue to the DFG due to decreased issuance of trapping and fur-dealer licenses. The DFG also would incur additional annual enforcement costs. The magnitude of these costs is unknown, but could range from negligible to several hundred thousand dollars annually, depending primarily on the amount of workload related to investigating violations of the measure's provisions.

Also, there would be unknown additional state and local costs for animal control purposes to capture and kill mammals that threaten property, endangered species, or public health. These costs could be from several hundred thousand dollars up to in the range of a couple of million dollars annually. Actual costs would depend on the cost-effectiveness of animal control methods not banned by the measure.

There could also be an unknown annual loss of personal income to landowners to the extent that allowable alternatives to the prohibited animal control methods are found to be less effective. The resulting loss in personal income tax revenue would probably be negligible in the context of total state General Fund revenues.

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF BALLOT PAMPHLET ARGUMENTS

 

 

Summary Argument in Favor

 

Whom to Contact for More Information:

Animal Protection Institute
Alan Hugh Berger
2831 Fruitridge Road
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 731-5521

Protect Pets and Wildlife
A. Aaron Medlock
11726 San Vicente Blvd., Ste. 330
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 207-7706

 

Argument in Favor of Proposition 4

" AYES" vote on Proposition 4 WILL PROTECT WILDLIFE AND FAMILY PETS:

_ by banning cruel and indiscriminate traps -- including the barbaric steel-jawed leghold trap, snares and Conibears -- for recreation or the fur trade;

_ by banning two especially dangerous poisons that harm animals and the environment -- Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide.

Commercial trappers use cruel traps to catch and kill tens of thousands of animals for the fur trade -- 24,136 during the 1997-98 trapping season according to State of California figures. Bobcats, beavers, foxes and other fur-beareres are intentional targets of trappers because of prices their pelts bring.

Thousands of other animals including family pets, endangered species, birds, and small mammals also suffer and die in indiscriminate leghold traps, snares and Conibear traps.

Still legal in California, the steel-jawed leghold trap is condemned as "INHUMANE" by the American Veterinary Medical Association, World Veterinary Association, and American Animal Hospital Association, and is banned in more than 80 countries -- and several states.

The notorious steel-jawed leghold trap and other body-gripping traps catch animals by slamming shut with bone-crushing force on an animal's leg or other body part causing injury and prolonged suffering until death.

Proposition 4 WILL ALLOW the use of traps and other wildlife management techniques:

_ to protect human health and safety

_ to protect property, levees and canals

_ to protect endangered wildlife

_ to protect crops and livestock

Endorsed by the Sierra Club, Proposition 4 is sponsored by the ASPCA, Animal Protection Institute, The Ark Trust Inc., Doris Day Animal League, The Fund for Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, and The International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Other endorsers include scores of environmental and animal protection organizations -- Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, Mountain Lion Foundation, State Humane Officers, Rescue K-9s of America, SPCA LA, and the Orange County, Almanor, Sequoia, Golden Gate, North County, Northeast, Marin, Peninsula, Glendale, and Pasadena humane societies.

A YES vote will end the senseless cruelty of traps and poisons.

_ Traps and poisons are indiscriminate, they harm or kill any animal that triggers them.

_ A trapped animal will attempt to chew off its own leg to escape.

_ Wildlife should not be killed for fashion.

_ Poisoned animals suffer violently, sometimes for hours, before dying in agony.

_ Secondary deaths result when other animals feed on poison victims.

_ There are humane alternatives, including cage traps, when animals must be caught.

The California Department of Fish and Game acknowledged in a 2/3/98 environmental document: "The use of cage traps would eliminate most, if not all, of the negative impacts of trapping as far as injury and capture of non-target species are concerned. Threatened, endangered, and protected species, as well as pets, could be released relatively unharmed from cage traps. Any danger to humans would be eliminated. The department does not expect that any significant adverse impacts would occur if the alternative (allowing only cage traps) was adopted."

 

 

PLEASE PROTECT PETS AND WILDLIFE FROM CRUEL TRAPS AND POISONS by voting YES on Proposition 4.

Doris Day
President, Doris Day Animal League
Honorable William A. Newsom

 

Justice (Ret.), California Court of Appeal
Elden Hughes
Vice President for Communications, Sierra Club, 1996-1997

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 4

Confused? YOU SHOULD BE! Proposition 4 is another badly written initiative. Don't let the radical animals rights activists confuse you. Listen to the experts:

 

"The radicals want you to believe 24,000 animals are trapped for fur. NONSENSE! Nearly 80% of animals trapped California are RODENTS...filthy, diseased RODENTS!"

Laurie Frazier
Wildlife Specialist
Vector Control, Santa Clara County

 

"Sensible wildlife conservation is gradually being crowded out by extreme animal rights groups to the detriment of wildlife. Proposition 4 is another example of extremists placing their own agenda ahead of proven wildlife management methods."

Walter E. Howard
Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Biology and Vertebrate Ecology,
University of California, Davis

 

"Proposition 4's price tag is staggering. Taxpayers would pay millions (according to the California Department of Fish & Game) for bureaucrats needed to enforce this bad law. We can't afford Proposition 4."

Lewis K. Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee

"If Proposition 4 passes, many populations of threatened and endangered species in California will suffer and some may even become extinct."

Gary Simmons
State Director
United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services

 

"Today's Wildlife management tools are the most humane ever. Proposition 4 would ban tools needed to conserve threatened and endangered species and force cruel alternatives to control predators, including traps that kill."

Joelle Buffa
Professional Wildlife Biologist

PROTECT HEALTH AND SAFETY, PROPERTY AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

 

NO MORE REGULATIONS

NO MORE TAXES

NO MORE BUREAUCRATS

NO ON ANOTHER BAD BALLOT PROPOSITION NO ON 4

Linda Marcedo
President
Women in Agriculture

Bill Everett
President
Endangered Species Recovery Council

Jack Parnell
Frmr. Director
CA Department of Fish & Game

 

Argument Against Proposition 4

THE RADICAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARE AT IT AGAIN!

This time the extremists have gone too far! Their proposition is so confusing and poorly written that it could not only threaten human health and safety, but endanger wildlife and livestock. While claiming to ban inhumane animal traps, in truth, Proposition 4 forces the use of traps that kill, while prohibiting safe padded traps designed to capture diseased predators. Proposition 4 places a higher value on the life of a rabid coyote than a child, family pet or newborn lamb.

 

PROPOSITION 4 would:

_ THREATEN HUMAN HEALTH AND SAFETY

Professional wildlife manages who protect the delicate balance of nature, are worried Proposition 4 would unnecessarily expose humans to animal transmitted diseases: Lyme, rabies and Bubonic plague. The California Department of Fish & Game says the initiative "could reduce the effectiveness of public health and safety control programs."

_ ENDANGER LIVESTOCK AND CROPS

Farmers and ranchers would be helpless in their fight to protect crops and livestock if Proposition 4 passed. Animal protection collars (studied for ten years and approved by both state and Federal Environmental Protection Agencies) would be banned by Proposition 4. Predatory coyotes that attack lambs by lunging at their throats would find their prey defenseless.

_ INCREASE USE OF CAUSTIC POISONS AND HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

If Proposition 4 passes, property owners and wildlife managers would have to use alternate means to protect their property. Don't force them to poison animals with dangerous chemicals and insecticides.

_ OVER REGULATE

Wildlife management is already highly regulated by hundreds of laws. Proposition 4 would wipe out proven methods of resource management and replace them with a confusing, poorly written ballot proposition.

_ JEOPARDIZE ENDANGERED SPECIES

Endangered species are finally making a comeback because of sound wildlife management. Animals, especially birds, on the verge of extinction are being protected from wild predators. Unless we say "NO" to Proposition 4, many endangered species could be lost forever.

_ ADD MORE BUREAUCRATS...COST CALIFORNIANS MILLIONS

If Proposition 4 passes, the Department of Fish & Game would have to enforce the law at an estimated cost of $1 million per year. That means more bureaucrats and greater costs to taxpayers...for a bad law. That's insane!

_ INCREASE RODENT DAMAGE

Nearly 80% of animals trapped in California are RODENTS. They are responsible for millions of dollars in damage to California's flood control and irrigation systems. Proposition 4 would PREVENT effective control of rodents.

PROPOSITION 4 IS;

CONFUSING
POORLY WRITTEN
TOO EXTREME
The current system works! We don't need Proposition 4. Say no to the radical animal rights activists.

 

Join...

Professional Wildlife Managers Humane Society, Sonoma

California Farm Bureau Federation California Cattlewomen's Association

California Waterfowl Association The Wildlife Society

California Poultry Industry Federation California Cattlemen's Association

California Grain & Feed Association Agricultural Council of California

Water Districts Across the State California Wool Growers Association

NO ON 4!

Ben Norman, DVM, Ph.D.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, RET.

Dona Mast, Immediate Past Chair
CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
RURAL HEALTH SAFETY

Stephanie Larson, President-Elect
HUMANE SOCIETY, Sonoma

 

Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 4

The barbaric trapping and killing of California's precious wildlife for the fur trade -- for -- profit -- is indefensible. And the fur-trapping industry that opposes Proposition 4 offers no credible defense.

Instead, they offer name calling, scare tactics and extreme statements to divert attention from the cruelties of trapping.

Let's focus on the truth!

FACT: Proposition 4 PROTECTS public health and safety. Health professionals, wildlife managers, farmers and water districts have a wide range of lethal and nonlethal methods to manage wildlife. Only three are being restricted -- two dangerous poisons and the steel-jawed leghold trap which has been banned in more than 80 countries. Furthermore, leghold traps will be available if needed to protect public health and safety.

FACT: Other states have enacted similar laws with no adverse impacts.

FACT: Proposition 4 specifically ALLOWS rat and mouse traps.

FACT: Proposition 4 PROMOTES the use of humane traps.

So-called "padded traps" have been proven to cause serious injuries to animals. After suffering for hours, trapped animals are usually bludgeoned to death by the trapper. Proposition 4 promotes more humane trapping. In a 2/3/98 environmental document, the California Department of Fish and Game acknowledged that allowing only cage traps would eliminate the negative impacts of trapping with NO SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACTS.

The TRUTH: Proposition 4 is reasonable, moderate, and narrowly tailored. It will stop inhumane, indiscriminate trapping. It will protect wildlife and family pets.

Humane societies, environmentalists, wildlife biologists, and veterinarians agree:

VOTE "YES" ON 4!

Authorized signers:

Rogers A. Caras
President, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

John Grandy, Ph.D
Senior Vice President for Wildlife Programs, The Humane Society of the United States

Catherine Rich, JD
President, Los Angeles Audubon Society, 1996-97

 

Text of Proposition 4


This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

This initiative measure adds Sections to the Fish and Game code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

PROPOSED LAW

Section 3003.1 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

3003.1. Notwithstanding Sections 1001, 1002, 4002, 4004, 4007, 4008, 4009.5, 4030, 4034, 4042, 4152, 4180, or 4181 of the Fish and Game Code:

(a) It is unlawful for any person to trap for the purposes of recreation or commerce in fur any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal with any body-gripping trap. A body-gripping trap is one that grips the mammal's body or body part, including, but not limited to, steel-jawed leghold traps, padded-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps, and snares. Cage and box traps, nets, suitcase-type live beaver traps, and common rat and mouse traps shall not be considered body-gripping traps.

(b) It is unlawful for any person to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange for profit, or offer to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange for profit the raw fur, as defined by Section 4005 of the Fish and Game Code, of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal that was trapped in California with a body-gripping trap as described in subdivision (a) after the effective date of this Section.

(c) It is unlawful for any person, including employees of the federal, state, county or municipal government, to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, padded or otherwise, to capture any game mammal, fur-bearing mammal, nongame mammal, protected mammal, or any dog or cat.

The prohibition in this subdivision does not apply to federal, state, county or municipal government employees or their duly authorized agents in the extraordinary case where the otherwise prohibited padded-jawed leghold trap is the only method available to protect human health or safety.

(d) For purposes of this Section, fur-bearing mammals, game mammals, nongame mammals, and protected mammals shall be those mammals so defined by statute as of January 1, 1997.

Section 3003.2 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

3003.2. Notwithstanding Sections 4003, 4152, 4180, or 4180.1 of the Fish and Game Code, or Section 14063 of the Food and Agricultural Code, no person, including employees of the federal, state, county or municipal government, shall poison or attempt to poison any animal by using sodium fluoroacetate, also known as Compound 1080, or sodium cyanide.

Section 12005.5 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

12005.5. Notwithstanding Sections 12000 and 12002, a violation of Section 3003.1, Section 3003.2, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $2,000, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. The legislature may increase, but may not decrease, this fine and punishment.