Massachusetts: Bill Restricting Trapping Sent To Governor

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Take Action Today! Massachusetts sportsmen should contact Gov. Baker and ask him to VETO Senate Bill 2646 because it will cause flooding, property damage and be a burden to taxpayers. Let the Governor know that sportsmen do not deserve to be blindsided without full public hearings. Massachusetts members can contact Gov. Baker by phone at (617) 725-4005 or by email at

The Massachusetts Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Charlie Baker that would ban water-set traps. Senate Bill 2646 was revealed by the Massachusetts Conference Committee on July 31, and with no warning, included a provision banning water-set traps in the otherwise unrelated animal-abuse bill. The bill was promptly approved by the full House and Senate on August 2, with no chance for public debate. 

Massachusetts already has one of the most restrictive trapping laws of any state, prohibiting the recreational use of many commonly used traps. Senate Bill 2646 restricts the use further and will no longer allow the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game to permit the use of water-set traps. An individual who violates this provision and uses a water-set trap could face a seven-year jail sentence or up to a $5,000 dollar fine.

The provision will not take effect until the Department of Fish and Game, in consultation with the Environmental Police, the division of Animal Health and the department of Agricultural Resources, deliver a report on alternative best practices for trapping and pest control. This report is due by June 1, 2019.  Regardless of any alternative suggestions uncovered by the report, SB 2646 does not permit continued use of water-set traps.

“These traps are the most effective means at controlling the beaver population. Senate Bill 2646 will lead to an increase in property damage and flooding caused by overpopulation,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services. “This action is a sneak attack on sportsmen and should have been fully debated in public to protect people, property and taxpayers.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.