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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 27, 2016 09:29 AM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation That Would Increase the Penalty for the Illegal Setting of Body-Gripping Traps
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation from last session (House Bill 1359) that would increase the penalty for the illegal setting of body-gripping traps.

Currently, Section 2361 of Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes provides that all body-gripping traps must be set inside an established watercourse, waterway, marsh, pond, or dam. Unfortunately, body-gripping traps are often illegally placed outside these water locations, inadvertently luring dogs and other domestic animals, which are often seriously injured or killed by the traps. The frequency and severity of this problem prompted the Pennsylvania Game Commission to restrict the size of openings for these traps in an effort to reduce the number of domestic animals being killed or injured by them. Even with this size restriction, I believe that it is necessary to strengthen the penalty for those who place these traps in unapproved and illegal locations.

Currently, a violation of this law is a summary offense of the fifth degree, punishable by a fine of $100 to $200. The legislation that I will be introducing would raise that violation to a summary offense of the first degree, punishable by a fine of $1,000 to $1,500 and up to three months of imprisonment.

Both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Trappers Association have supported this measure in the past.

I hope you will join me in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1292