Full Statute Name:  Arizona Proposition 201: AN INITIATIVE MEASURE RELATING TO GAME AND FISH: DEFINING UNLAWFUL METHODS OF TAKING WILDLIFE; AND ADDING SECTION 17-301 (D) TO ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES TO DEFINE LAWFUL METHODS OF TAKING OR HANDLING WILDLIFE, SPECIFICALLY BANNING CERTAIN DEVICES, ALLOWING THE USE OF FIREARMS AND IMPLEMENTS IN HAND AND ALLOWING CERTAIN TAKING AND RELOCATION METHODS AND DEVICES (1994)

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Primary Citation:  Proposition 201 (1994) Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  August, 2014 Date Adopted:  1994
Summary: Proposition 201 would make it illegal to use certain methods of taking "wildlife" on public land, including federal, state, county and municipal land. The listed devices that would be prohibited are "any leghold trap, any instant kill body gripping design trap, or by a poison or a snare." The measure passed with 58.5% of the vote.
Statute Text: 

PROPOSITION 201

OFFICIAL TITLE

AN INITIATIVE MEASURE RELATING TO GAME AND FISH: DEFINING UNLAWFUL METHODS OF TAKING WILDLIFE; AND ADDING SECTION 17-301 (D) TO ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES TO DEFINE LAWFUL METHODS OF TAKING OR HANDLING WILDLIFE, SPECIFICALLY BANNING CERTAIN DEVICES, ALLOWING THE USE OF FIREARMS AND IMPLEMENTS IN HAND AND ALLOWING CERTAIN TAKING AND RELOCATION METHODS AND DEVICES.

TEXT OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT

Be it enacted by the People of Arizona:

The following amendments, amending Section 17-301, Arizona Revised Statutes, by the addition of new paragraph 17-301 (D) are proposed to become valid when approved by a majority of the qualified electors of the State of Arizona voting thereon and proclamation pursuant thereto by the Governor of the State of Arizona.

17-301.

.

.

.

D.

(1) IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL TO TAKE WILDLIFE WITH ANY LEGHOLD TRAP, ANY INSTANT KILL BODY GRIPPING DESIGN TRAP, OR BY A POISON OR A SNARE ON ANY PUBLIC LAND, INCLUDING STATE OWNED OR STATE LEASED LAND, LANDS ADMINISTERED BY THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE STATE PARKS BOARD AND ANY COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY.

(2) SECTION 17-301 (D) (1) ABOVE SHALL NOT PROHIBIT:

(a) THE USE OF THE DEVICES REFERENCED ABOVE BY FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY, OR OTHER LOCAL DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH WHICH HAVE JURISDICTION IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF SUCH USE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTECTION FROM OR SURVEILLANCE FOR THREATS TO HUMAN HEALTH OR SAFETY.

(b) THE TAKING OF WILDLIFE WITH FIREARMS, WITH FISHING EQUIPMENT, WITH ARCHERY EQUIPMENT, OR OTHER IMPLEMENTS IN HAND AS MAY BE DEFINED OR REGULATED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH COMMISSION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE TAKING OF WILDLIFE PURSUANT TO A HUNTING OR FISHING LICENSE ISSUED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT.

(c) THE USE OF SNARES, TRAPS NOT DESIGNED TO KILL, OR NETS TO TAKE WILDLIFE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROJECTS, FALCONRY, OR FOR RELOCATION OF THE WILDLIFE AS MAY BE DEFINED OR REGULATED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH COMMISSION AND OR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

(d) THE USE OF POISONS OR NETS BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT TO TAKE OR MANAGE AQUATIC WILDLIFE AS DETERMINED AND REGULATED BY THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH COMMISSION.

(e) THE USE OF TRAPS FOR RODENT CONTROL OR POISONS FOR RODENT CONTROL FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTROLLING WILD AND DOMESTIC RODENTS AS OTHERWISE ALLOWED BY THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA, EXCLUDING ANY FURBEARERS AS DEFINED IN A.R.S. 17-101, B(5).

ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

(In compliance with A.R.S. section 19-124)

Proposition 201 would make it illegal to use certain methods of taking "wildlife" on public land, including federal, state, county and municipal land. The listed devices that would be prohibited are "any leghold trap, any instant kill body gripping design trap, or by a poison or a snare". This proposition would not prohibit:

1. The use of a prohibited device by a governmental health department for health and safety protection and surveillance.

2. Legal hunting or fishing with authorized weapons, fishing equipment or other "implements in hand".

3. Falconry.

4. Using snares, traps that are not designed to kill and nets for scientific research or regulated wildlife relocation.

5. Using poisons and nets for regulated aquatic wildlife management.

6. Using traps and poisons to control non-furbearing rodents.

Arizona law defines the term "wildlife" as all wild mammals, wild birds and their nests and eggs, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans and fish, including their eggs and spawn. (ARS section 17-101.)

These restrictions and conditions would not apply to activities on private property.

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Proposition 201 is an easy to read, easy to understand, narrowly defined citizen's initiative created for the sole purpose of banning, finally, the use of cruel and indiscriminate trapping devices on public lands.

Proposition 201 will NOT affect hunting and fishing. The rights of hunters and fishers are clearly and specifically protected by this initiative. It does not apply to private land and it continues to allow for trapping when it is for the purpose of protecting human health and safety, controlling rodent populations, and wildlife research and relocation programs.

Proposition 201 will, however, stop the commercial exploitation of furbearers who are cruelly killed in response to the market value of their fur. Arizona does not allow commercial fishing or commercial hunting on public lands and we believe it is now time to stop the commercial trapping of fur bearing animals on our lands.

Traps, especially leghold traps, are particularly cruel, resulting in animals being left to struggle and starve for days. These hidden devices cannot distinguish between their intended target and their accidental victims, like fawns, eagles, family pets, even children and adults who have been injured by these traps.

And finally, it should not be our responsibility to provide the raw materials for the powerful east coast fur industry at the expense of wildlife diversity on our land.

Arizona's public lands are used for a wide variety of purposes that can benefit us all. But we believe that use should be specific and humane, not indiscriminate and cruel.

Please join us and vote YES on Proposition 201.

Janet Evans, Chairperson

Help Abolish Leghold Traps

Phoenix

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Since 1976, nearly one million animals have died slow deaths in leghold traps in Arizona. Roughly half of all foxes, bobcats, coyotes and other wildlife suffered broken legs and shattered teeth in trying to escape. Many animals are caught unintentionally, making leghold traps a leading cause of death for bald eagles. One Arizona Game and Fish Department study estimated that more than 600 dogs are caught annually, plus an undetermined number of cats, deer, javelina and other "non-target" species. Some studies have shown that twice as many "innocent bystanders" such as pets and eagles are killed as the target species of furbearers.

As shown by the language of Prop. 201, banning traps in Arizona will not affect hunters, fishermen, scientists, game managers, or public health officials. All control methods now in use to control disease outbreaks such as plague and rabies will still be allowed all over the state. Traps will not be banned on private land, and it will remain legal to trap rodents anywhere .

State and federal taxpayers spent $600,000 for predator control in 1990, more than ten times larger than the reported livestock losses for the entire state. Traps do little to control livestock losses to predators such as the coyote and mountain lion. The few ranchers who have losses are the same individuals, year after year.

Tax-supported killing of public wildlife only encourages ranchers to delay the use of better animal husbandry methods. Better herding and keeping very young calves out of lion habitat, for example, are proven methods of lowering livestock losses while still allowing wildlife to survive on our public lands.

Please vote yes on Prop. 201.

Steve Johnson

Tucson

Help Abolish Leghold Traps: Janet Evans, Chairperson

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Capturing wildlife with leghold traps is the most inhumane treatment of animals legally practiced in the United States. Public opinion polls conducted over the past twenty years indicate that a large majority of Americans strongly oppose the use of these traps.

Several states and 68 countries have banned the leghold trap. Many of these countries, like Great Britain where the steel-jaw trap was banned in 1958, have had bans in place for many years. No adverse effects have been reported as a result of these trapping bans. In fact, Europe has been able to successfully deal with epidemics of rabies by pioneering the use of vaccine baits for wildlife. The U.S. is several years behind Europe in research and application of this technique because of our reliance on ineffective methods like trapping to control wildlife diseases. Trapping not only fails to control rabies, but in some cases, it may increase the spread of the disease.

As of 1995, the European Economic Community will ban the importation of furs from countries, including the U.S., which still allow the use of inhumane devices to capture furbearing animals.

There is no "humane" version of the leghold trap. The trap currently approved for use in Arizona was recently described as "causing injury to many animals" by a Massachusetts Superior Court. The leghold trap is a barbaric device, virtually unchanged since it was first used in the early 1800s.

It's time Arizonans put an end to the cruel and unsafe practice of trapping on our public lands. Vote "Yes" on Proposition 201.

Barbara Goethe, President

AZ Lobby For Animals

Phoenix

Dena Jones Jolma, Vice President

AZ Lobby For Animals

Phoenix

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

We are reluctant experts on animal suffering. As veterinarians, in private practice, we see more than enough pain and fear to recognize it when we see it. We believe mammals feel as we feel, suffer as we suffer. Leghold traps hurt, leghold traps cause suffering, leghold traps cause fear.

We are also involuntary witnesses to the non-selectivity of leghold traps. The area around us is largely national forest. We have no sheep here and few cattle. Six dogs have been delivered to Mile Hi Animal Hospital from traps. Three needed and survived entire limb amputations. Those dogs were not targets, they were mistakes. The Prescott Animal Control Officers have had to put ten dogs mangled by traps out of their misery. Kachina Animal Hospital, in Dewey, treats two or three trap victims each year.

One of us came from Montana where trapping has clearly failed to alter predation of coyotes on sheep. What has worked is selective shooting, predator behavior control and allowing a natural balance to sort out the predator prey populations. Traps are not needed.

Trapping is a monster way of life in which hurting and senseless killing are normal. As a livelihood trapping is mean and shameful. Ban it on our public land, please. We urge you to vote "Yes" on Proposition 201.

Richard H. Fisher, DVM

Mile Hi Animal Hospital

Prescott

Sandra D. Rogers, DVM

Mile Hi Animal Hospital

Prescott

Sally Cheek, DVM

Kachina Animal Hospital

Dewey

John R. Underwood, Jr., DVM

Kachina Animal Hospital

Dewey

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Trapping is by its very nature a CRUEL activity. It is wholly unnecessary and outdated in a modern society. If animals have to be captured or killed for some specific purpose, then there are substantially more effective, efficient, and less painful means than trapping. The costs of trapping are substantially greater then the small amounts of money that trapping activity generates. Your taxes pay to support and manage this cruel activity. Your money should not be misspent in this manner.

Trapping is NON-SELECTIVE . Traps not only catch and maim the beautiful wildlife of this state (bears, mountain lions, bob cats), but is equally likely to capture your pet dog or cat or your child. Every year domestic animals, human beings, and non-target wildlife are severely hurt or killed by such traps.

Trapping is TORTURE . Animals are left with their skin ripped open and bones broken in a trap for extended periods of time. They are left without food or water of any sort. They are left wholly exposed to the summer sun or winter freeze. Your vote will either end the needless suffering of the animals that we all own and treasure, or your vote will be responsible for continuing such torture in Arizona. It is you who have the power to make the decision and safeguard the wildlife, pets and children of this state from needless suffering. There is simply no good reason for these medieval cruel practices to be allowed to continue in our state.

The Arizona Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals asks for your vote to eliminate these cruel practices and protect our wildlife, pets and people on our public lands.

Betsey Westell, President

AZ Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc.

Phoenix

Treva Slote, ECO

AZ Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc.

Phoenix

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

I am a former trapper of many years and I support Prop. 201 which would ban trapping on public lands in Arizona. In addition to being an inhumane method of harvesting animals, it is highly non-selective. There is limited control of targeting which species are caught. Most animals caught in traps are too damaged to survive if set loose. Rare species (including raptors in bait sets) and pets are frequently caught. Many animals caught in traps knaw their legs off when their circulation is reduced from trap position or freezing.

Trapping is an archaic form of animal harvest and should be eliminated. I urge you to vote YES on Prop. 201.

Jim Notestine

Sonoita

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Help Abolish Leghold Traps, or HALT, was formed to eliminate the use of leghold traps, snares (both foot and neck types), and poisons on public lands in Arizona. Wildlife Damage Review supports such a goal. We are a group of citizens who came together to bring public scrutiny to the Animal Damage Control (ADC) agency which routinely sets out traps, snares and poisons on public lands to kill native wildlife for the benefit of the livestock industry. We believe these practices are unnecessary, harmful to wildlife, and dangerous to the public.

Ranchers can protect their livestock using many alternative methods and better husbandry practices such as guarding dogs, moving herds out of prime predator habitat during lambing or calving, and hiring herders. But as long as tax payers provide ADC's services, amounting to over $35 million annually, to the ranchers for free, the indiscriminate killing will continue.

A 1991 survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that predators caused only 2.4% of cattle and calf losses nationwide. Bad weather, calving, disease, theft, and poisons all resulted in more cattle deaths than predators caused.

Trapping and snaring are not legitimate wildlife "management" tools. There are better ways. Poisoning of any kind on public lands is not acceptable to Americans who value natural ecosystems and appreciate how they function. Our needs do not conflict with nature, but are a part of it, and we can utilize the principles of natural functions, biology, along with common sense to solve our problems.

Wildlife Damage Review urges you to read Proposition 201 carefully and vote "yes" for wildlife.

Nancy Zierenberg, Vice President

Wildlife Damage Review

Tucson

Marian Baker Gierlach, Secretary

Wildlife Damage Review

Tucson

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

We are an organization of men and women, hunters and fishermen who are appalled and disgusted by the use of leghold traps, wire snares and poisoned bait on our wildlife. The prolonged suffering caused by these devices should be offensive to anyone who call themselves sportsmen.

Our members are conservationists who support hunting and fishing rights. We agree that controlled hunting and fishing help restore the delicate balance of nature. As such, recreational hunting and fishing play an important part in wildlife management.

On the other hand, leghold traps, wire snares and poisoned baits are often indiscriminate and non-selective. Frequently the animal caught is not the target animal, traps don't care about the age, sex or species they capture. And, as many bird hunters know from experience, traps can pose a real threat to a valuable hunting dog.

Our members strongly endorse prop 201. This time the wording is clear and specific. Hunting, fishing, and many other legitimate sporting activities are specifically excluded and would not be affected in any way. There is no "policy statement." The wording simply couldn't be clearer. Read it for yourself. Then vote yes on Prop 201.

Rod Mondt, Director, HUFEE Hunters and Fishers for an Environmental Ethic

Tucson

Peter Gierlach, Director, HUFEE

Hunters and Fishers for an Environmental Ethic

Tucson

Help Abolish Leghold Traps: Janet Evans, Chairperson

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

As veterinarians, we deal with animal suffering every day. Leghold traps cause great pain and anxiety to the animals caught in them. These animals suffer and often die from exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and attack by other animals. Sometimes animals chew off their own limbs to escape.

Traps are indiscriminate; they don't just catch furbearing animals. Other animals, including pets, can be caught. Trap injuries may require that a digit, a foot, or an entire limb be amputated. Small birds and mammals usually die or must be destroyed because of disabling injuries.

During this past year, several professional veterinary societies took official positions critical of trapping. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, and the World Veterinary Association have all endorsed statements proclaiming the steel-jaw leghold trap to be "inhumane."

All forms of the leghold trap are nonselective and cause injuries to animals. There is no such thing as a humane leghold trap.

Trapping is an unnecessary and inherently cruel practice. It is a threat to our wildlife and pets and should be banned from public lands in our state. We urge you to vote "Yes" on Proposition 201.

Candy D. Burton

Tucson

Andrew J. Carlton

Tucson

Randall J. Eberhard

Tucson

M. K. Klein

Tucson

Rocco E. Mele, DVM

Tucson

Ronald L. Sigler, DVM

Phoenix

Roger C. Penwick, VMD

Tucson

Howard Littman

Scottsdale

Barbara L. Swahlen, DVM

Tucson

Jean Arnold, DVM

Scottsdale

Janet M. Forrer, DVM

Tucson

Diana L. Droste, DVM

Phoenix

Help Abolish Leghold Traps: Janet Evans, Chairperson

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

The Arizona Animal Welfare League endorses the initiative prohibiting the use of leghold traps, body gripping instant killing traps, snares and poisons used to kill or capture wildlife on Arizona public lands. This initiative does not infringe on the rights of either the hunter or the fisherman, but does infringe on the rights of our wild life and our pets to humane treatment. Any of these methods of killing can result in an animal suffering excruciating pain and/or starvation before death. Too, the present law permitting the use of such traps prohibits anyone from removing or rescuing an animal caught in one of these traps, including your pet, except the owner of the trap.

Many members of our League are members of the NRA, are hunters and fishermen and will vote YES when this proposition comes before them. We are asking you to please give Prop 201, your careful consideration, and also VOTE YES.

Stevia Slaughter, President

The AZ Animal Welfare

League, Inc.

Scottsdale

Hope Archibald, Recording Sec. The AZ Animal Welfare League, Inc.

Scottsdale

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

Our family dog has been caught twice in a leg hold trap on Arizona's public lands. I have seen first hand just how cruel and indiscriminate leg hold traps are and how frequently they can be encountered while hiking. The first time our dog was caught I had no idea how to release our pet from the trap. Since these dangerous devices are left unattended there was no trapper around to help me. Our dog became hysterical, and in her panic she bit me several times. The second encounter with a trap resulted in yet another injury, a difficult and long walk home, another trip to the vet with surgery to repair her paw. As bad as our experience was, I am still thankful that the creature the trapper was targeting was spared this terrible ordeal. There would be no rescue for this wild creature, no trip to the vet to heal her wounds and no escape. Just a slow, agonizing wait for a lonely, undeserving, and unjustified death.

Anne Coe

Apache Junction

Help Abolish Leghold Traps: Janet Evans, Chairperson

ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 201

The Rincon Group of the Sierra Club urges voters to support the initiative banning leghold traps on public lands. This initiative in not a hunting, fishing, or private property rights issue. This initiative is a public lands issue.

Public lands are administered by the state for the benefit of the public and for the enhancement of the resources on those lands. The purpose of this initiative is to protect the public and wildlife on public lands. Leghold traps are notoriously indiscriminate. They cannot select who or what is entrapped. Leghold traps pose a direct threat to individuals using public lands, their children and their pets. Protecting public uses of state lands is far more important than protecting purely private interests.

In addition, wildlife resources must be protected on public lands. The vast majority of animals caught in leghold traps are non-target animals, such as rabbits, porcupines, deer, squirrels, and a large variety of birds, including such endangered species as the bald eagle. Even sheep are often caught in traps. The total impact of trapping on Arizona wildlife may never be known since trappers are not required to report non-target animals.

Public lands trapping does not benefit the public . It benefits a small group of individuals, fewer than 200, who do not rely on trapping for their livelihood. Trapping is a cruel and unnecessary hobby. Trapping on public lands for predator control is an unnecessary subsidy for public lands ranchers. Other effective, humane methods of predator control exist. A rancher concerned with predators need only move his/her stock to private lands during breeding season. This initiative does not abolish trapping or predator control on private lands.

Vote to protect your use of your land. Vote to ban leghold traps on public lands.

Richard W. McKee

Conservation Chair

Rincon Group, Sierra Club

Tucson

ARGUMENT "AGAINST" PROPOSITION 201

Arizona's 7,800 family farmers and ranchers would be severely crippled by Prop 201. Arizona's farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land, preserving vast amounts of open space and natural resources, as well as an irreplaceable part of our heritage. At the same time, these small business people produce wholesome and affordable food for all of us.

Farmers and ranchers produce $2.1 billion of agricultural products which contribute $6.2 billion to our state's economy. Their ability to protect this production from predators and pests would be eliminated if Prop 201 should pass.

The Arizona Farm Bureau says farmers lose nearly $1.5 million dollars to predators annually - with a direct cost to consumers of $2.5 million by the time their produce arrives at the checkout lanes in your grocery store! If Prop 201 should pass, these costs would skyrocket!

Worse, The Arizona Cattlemen's Association says ranchers' loss of livestock to predators tops $8,260,000 per year in Arizona. The direct cost to consumers is a whopping $21 million! Again, without the tools to control predators, Prop 201 cost to consumers of meat could exceed $50 million annually!

Additionally, the problems created by Prop 201 where jurisdictional boundaries change every square mile between public and private lands, will be costly upon the already overburdened taxpayer, and will create a management nightmare for land management agencies and private property owners.

Arizona's agricultural industry urges you to vote NO on Proposition 201.

Ken Evans, President

AZ Farm Bureau Federation

Yuma

Walter Armer, Jr., President

AZ Cattlemen's Assn

Benson

Andy Kurtz, Executive Secretary

and Administrative Officer

AZ Farm Bureau Federation

Phoenix

Sandra Eastlake

Executive Vice President

AZ Cattlemen's Assn

Phoenix

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