Vermont seeks to regulate professional trappers

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) People who are paid to trap nuisance animals will soon be facing new regulations. There is a public meeting Tuesday night in Bethel to talk about new rules for trappers being written by Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

There's been general agreement that people who are paid to trap nuisance animals outside of regular trapping seasons should be regulated, but the extent of the regulation has yet to be settled.

"We know that some species, especially species like beavers, can have a tremendous impact on people and their dwellings and roads, and in some of those cases we need to remove those animals," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.

Nuisance trappers in Vermont haven't faced any regulations, but the state is trying to change that. Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials are seeking public comment on proposed new rules stemming from a law passed last session.

"We agreed with the legislature and the Vermont Trappers Association that it made sense to apply some basic level of regulation for those taking wildlife that are a nuisance for compensation, for pay," Porter said.

The proposed rules would require regularly checking on traps, banning some types of traps and reporting when domestic animals like cats or dogs are accidentally trapped.

Brenna Galdenzi with Protect Our Wildlife wants to ban trapping altogether. She's happy nuisance trappers will see some regulations but says they don't go far enough and that more humane animal control methods should be attempted first.

"Trapping is the first line of defense before all these other options have been explored and that is, we feel, not warranted," she said. Galdenzi says any new rules should include a ban on trapping animals with snares." One thing we are concerned about is Fish and Wildlife is still allowing the use of snares for nuisance wildlife control operators."

The proposed regulations wouldn't apply to landowners who do their own nuisance trapping, or to municipalities.