WSR 97-14-092





[Filed July 2, 1997, 9:32 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-10-028.

Title of Rule: To amend WAC 232-12-141 Wild animal trapping.

Purpose: To amend WAC 232-12-141 to modify the trap types, and trap-check times associated with furbearer trapping regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: Trapping is an essential wildlife management tool that is benefiting from technological improvements and changes in social values related to animal welfare. The WAC amendment requires the use of padded foot-hold traps in all land sets not capable of killing the animal, and reduces the trap-check time from seventy-two hours to forty-eight hours.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The amendments are consistent with animal trap research indicating that padded foot-hold traps can significantly reduce trap related injury and increase the welfare of land trapped species. Continued, regulated use of foot-hold traps will allow efficient nuisance and damage trapping programs consistent with wildlife management, and animal welfare goals.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Management, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Ron Swatfigure, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Purpose and Summary above. Adoption of trapping regulations that address animal welfare issues is essential to maintaining the use of trapping as a wildlife management tool. Expected benefits include the continuation of recreational trapping seasons, which provide significant nuisance and damage relief from certain species of wildlife (eg., coyotes, beaver, river otter).

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Red Lion Inn, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352, on August 8-9, 1997, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by July 25, 1997, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, FAX (360) 902-2942.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 8, 1997.

July 2, 1997

Dave Brittell

AMENDATORY SECTION [(Amending Order 563, filed 9/2/92)]

WAC 232-12-141 Wild animal trapping. (1) The trapping season authorizes the taking of furbearing animals for their hides and pelts only. Furbearers may not be taken from the wild and held alive for sale or personal use without a special permit pursuant to WAC 232-12-064.

(2) Any wildlife trapped for which the season is not open shall be released unharmed. Any wildlife that cannot be released unharmed must be left in the trap, and the department of fish and wildlife must be notified immediately.

(3) Lawfully trapped furbearers must be lethally dispatched or immediately released. A firearm may be used for this purpose.

(4) It is unlawful to trap for wild animals:

(a) By any means other than commercially manufactured padded foot-hold traps, unpadded foot-hold traps, cage (live) traps, ((instant-))kill traps and snares.

(b) With an unpadded foot-hold trap, unless the trap is capable of completely submersing and drowning the animal, except that unpadded foot-hold traps may be used on private property with written landowner permission for the purpose of protecting livestock, domestic animals, private property, or public safety.

(((b))) (c) With a steel trap having a jaw spread exceeding seven and one-half inches, except [that] an instant kill trap having a jaw spread exceeding seven and one-half inches is lawful when set with the springs beneath the water surface.

(((c))) (d) With a No. 3 size or larger unpadded foot-hold ((steel)) trap if it does not have spacing of at least three-sixteenth of one inch when the trap is sprung and when the set is not capable of drowning the trapped animal[.]

(((d))) (e) With a ((No. 3 size or larger)) steel trap with teeth or serrated edges. ((when the set is not capable of drowning the trapped animal.))

(((e))) (f) Unless traps or devices not capable of killing the animal are checked and animals removed within ((seventy-two)) forty-eight hours, except within identified urban trapping areas, where ((the)) sets ((is)) not capable of ((drowning)) killing the animal, ((traps or devices)) must be checked and animals removed within ((forty-eight)) twenty-four hours.

(((f))) (g) With a neck or body snare attached to a spring pole or any spring pole type of device.

(((g))) (h) Within thirty feet of any exposed meat bait which is visible to flying raptors.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 92-18-083 (Order 563), 232-12-141, filed 9/2/92, effective 10/3/92; 90-19-097 (Order 460), 232-12-141, filed 9/19/90, effective 10/20/90; 87-15-082 (Order 293), 232-12-141, filed 7/20/87; 81-12-029 (Order , 232-12-141, filed 6/1/81. Formerly WAC 232-12-310.]


Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules, and deems ineffectual changes not filed by the agency in this manner. The bracketed material in the above section does not appear to conform to the statutory requirement.

Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules. The rule published above varies from its predecessor in certain respects not indicated by the use of these markings.

Legislature Code Reviser


Washington State Code Reviser's Office