California Enacts Ban on Fur Trapping and Shed Antler Sales

   09.13.19

California becomes the first state to enact a fur trapping ban for animal pelts.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom this week, makes fur trapping for any purpose – commercial or recreational – illegal on both public and private lands. Even certain shed antlers were mentioned in the new legislation, so be wary of that!

“Shed antlers, or antlers taken from domestically reared animals that have been manufactured into products or handicraft items, or that have been cut into blocks or units that are to be handcrafted or manufactured into those articles may be purchased or sold at any time. However, complete antlers, whole heads with antlers, antlers that are mounted for display, or antlers in velvet may not be sold or purchased at any time, except as authorized by Section 3087.”

Why is this important?

Well for starters, it puts shed antler distributors in a serious bind, but also hampers with several critical wildlife management techniques.

According to Fox News, fur trapping licenses sales have dropped considerably over the last few years. Just looking at 2018 alone, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it sold 133 licenses, which ultimately resulted in trapping 1,568 animals and the sale of 1,241 pelts. Here’s the kicker, after going through a legislative analysis, the bill states most fur sales actually took place outside of California, with additional data suggesting “there have been no fur sales in the state for the past three years.”

In the mean time, roughly 500 trapping licenses have been issued within the state of California for pest control and other reasons, and those folks who obtain this sort of license aren’t required to report the number of animals caught this way.

Fox News also states while environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity stand behind the fur trapping ban, others like the California Farm Bureau Federation are not in favor. Their fear is the ban will have a negative affect on ranchers and farmers who rely on commercial trappers for wildlife control and protecting their crops throughout the season.

The question remains, however, what will they ban next?

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