Bill to End Recreational Trapping Introduced in Vermont

A beaver carries a branch in a river in France. Photo: Louis-Marie Preau

On February 6, 2023 H.191 was introduced in the Vermont House of Representatives as a bill that would “prohibit the trapping of fur-bearing animals unless the person trapping is authorized to trap in order to defend property or agricultural crops or the trapping is conducted by a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator.” With the support of 24 additional Representatives, if passed into law H.191 would effectively end trapping for recreation and profit in Vermont.

Last month, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (VFWD) released its report to the Legislature on the agency’s response to Act 159, which directed the VFWD to recommend improvements to existing trapping practices in Vermont. The report includes minimal changes to current trapping practices, while introducing best management practices (BMPs) to trapping that require traps that are tested to prove their ability to kill within 300 seconds. VFWD report includes a budget for replacing the traps owned by licensed trappers which is $300,000 to $400,000 of which portions are expected to come from public funds.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board will be meeting in Montpelier on March 15, 2023 to vote on the current recommended changes to trapping practices in Vermont. Please visit their website to learn more about the proposed changes and for how you can act in defense of Vermont’s furbearers!

House Bill 191 as Introduced