Wildlife Advocates Expand Target After Bobcat Ban
California wildlife advocates, celebrating the state’s decsision to ban bobcat trapping, are setting their sights on protecting other animals killed commercially in the state for their fur.
The plan is to eliminate commercial trapping by pushing the California Fish and Game Commission to enforce a law already on the books.
That law requires the commission to set licensing fees so that the state recovers all reasonable costs associated with allowing commercial trapping, something officials at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife acknowledge is not being done. The $117 annual licensing fee currently required to trap and kill muskrats, raccoons, coyotes and other animals for their fur falls short of covering the state’s cost of overseeing the programs.
“Any program that turns wildlife or other natural resources into a commodity for the private profit of a few should not be subsidized by California taxpayers,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. “In the not-too-distant future, we will look at whether other programs in the state aren’t compliant with the law.”
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