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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2019 08:28 AM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Increasing the Penalty for the Illegal Setting of Body-Gripping Traps
Illegally placed body-gripping traps pose a serious risk to family pets and other domestic animals, which are often seriously injured or killed by the traps. Currently, all body-gripping traps must be set inside an established watercourse, waterway, marsh, pond, or dam. Unfortunately, the frequency and severity of illegally placing these traps 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. However, 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.

A current violation of this law is a summary offense of the fifth degree, punishable by a fine of $100 to $200. I believe we should increase the penalty 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 previously supported this measure.

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

This is a reintroduction of former House Bill 1292 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session.

Introduced as HB301