Thanks to comments from you and other wildlife advocates, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Friday to take a new look at trap-check times - the frequency with which trappers must check their traps to end the suffering of animals in the traps. The decision came at the end of a long meeting, held by video conference, on proposed rules setting seasons and "bag limits" for hunting and trapping "furbearing" animals. The Commission adopted the rules, which are largely a renewal of existing rules, but several Commissioners, led by Jill Zarnowitz and Greg Wolley, expressed deep concern about Oregon's lax requirements for how frequently trappers need to check their traps (up to seven days depending on the species and the location). They led fellow Commissioners to direct the Department of Fish and Wildlife to study the issue and come back no later than January with recommendations and proposals that could require much more frequent trap-check intervals (we asked for no more than 24 hours). That might sound like a small step, but given the history on this issue, it's big.
You can watch the entire proceedings of the Commission, including the discussion by Commissioners in the last hour and a half or so, here. See our comments on the proposed rules here. As you will see, we asked for an end to all trapping as well as killing of wildlife for fur. We also testified to that effect at the hearing and submitted a joint letter with other groups specifically on trap-check times, which you can see here.
Thank you for getting involved to help animals in Oregon.
Photo: Sceenshoot of Commission Meeting. Top Row (L-R): Commissioners Jill Zarnowitz, Becky Hatfield-Hyde, Bob Spelbrink and Mark Labhart. Middle Row: Commission Chair Mary Wahl, ODFW Director Curt Melcher, ODFW Carnivore-Furbearer Coordinator Derek Broman. Bottom Row: ODFW Fish Conservation & Recovery Program Manager Tom Stahl; Oregon Department of Justice Attorney Erin Donald; ODFW Executive Assistant Michelle Tate.