77.15.190 . Unlawful trapping--Penalty
77.15.191 . Revocation of trapper's license--Placement of unauthorized traps
77.15.192 . Definitions
77.15.194 . Unlawful traps--Penalty
(1) A person is guilty of unlawful trapping if the person:
(a) Sets out traps that are capable of taking wild animals, wild birds, game animals, or furbearing mammals and does not possess the licenses, tags, or permits required under this title;
(b) Violates any department rule regarding seasons, bag, or possession limits, closed areas including game reserves, closed times, or any other rule governing the trapping of wild animals or wild birds, with the exception of reporting rules; or
(c) Fails to identify the owner of the traps or devices by neither (i) attaching a metal tag with the owner's department-assigned identification number or the name and address of the trapper legibly written in numbers or letters not less than one-eighth inch in height nor (ii) inscribing into the metal of the trap such number or name and address.
(2) Unlawful trapping is a misdemeanor.
[2014 c 48 § 10, eff. June 12, 2014; 2012 c 176 § 17, eff. June 7, 2012; 1999 c 258 § 9; 1998 c 190 § 34.]
<(Formerly: Game and Game Fish)>
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Laws 2000, ch. 258, § 9, in subsec. (3), added par. (c).
Laws 2012, ch. 176, § 17, rewrote subsec. (1)(b), which formerly read:
“(b) Violates any rule of the commission or director regarding seasons, bag or possession limits, closed areas including game reserves, closed times, or any other rule governing the trapping of wild animals; or”
The director may revoke the trapper's license of a person placing unauthorized traps on private property and may remove those traps.
[2000 c 107 § 268; 1987 c 372 § 4. Formerly RCW 77.65.470, 77.32.199.]
The definitions in this section apply throughout RCW 77.15.194 through 77.15.198.
(1) “Animal” means any nonhuman vertebrate.
(2) “Body-gripping trap” means a trap that grips an animal's body or body part. Body-gripping trap includes, but is not limited to, steel-jawed leghold traps, padded-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps, neck snares, and nonstrangling foot snares. Cage and box traps, suitcase-type live beaver traps, and common rat and mouse traps are not considered body-gripping traps.
(3) “Person” means a human being and, where appropriate, a public or private corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a government, or a governmental instrumentality.
(4) “Raw fur” means a pelt that has not been processed for purposes of retail sale.
(5) “Animal problem” means any animal that threatens or damages timber or private property or threatens or injures livestock or any other domestic animal.
[2001 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 713, approved November 7, 2000).]
<(Formerly: Game and Game Fish)>
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Finding--2001 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 713): “The people of the state of Washington find that this act is necessary in order to protect people and domestic pets and to protect and conserve wildlife from the dangers of cruel and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps and poisons, and to encourage the use of humane methods of trapping when trapping is necessary to ensure public health and safety, protect livestock or property, safeguard threatened and endangered species, or conduct field research on wildlife.” [2001 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 713, approved November 7, 2000).]
Severability--2001 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 713): “If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.” [2001 c 1 § 6 (Initiative Measure No. 713, approved November 7, 2000).]
(1) It is unlawful to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, neck snare, or other body-gripping trap to capture any mammal for recreation or commerce in fur.
(2) It is unlawful to knowingly buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange, or offer to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange the raw fur of a mammal or a mammal that has been trapped in this state with a steel-jawed leghold trap or any other body-gripping trap, whether or not pursuant to permit.
(3) It is unlawful to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap or any other body-gripping trap to capture any animal, except as provided in subsections (4) through (6) of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section prohibits the use of a Conibear trap in water, a padded leghold trap, or a nonstrangling type foot snare with a special permit granted by the director under (a) through (d) of this subsection. Issuance of the special permits shall be governed by rules adopted by the department and in accordance with the requirements of this section. Every person granted a special permit to use a trap or device listed in this subsection shall check the trap or device at least every twenty-four hours.
(a) Nothing in this section prohibits the director, in consultation with the department of social and health services or the United States department of health and human services from granting a permit to use traps listed in this subsection for the purpose of protecting people from threats to their health and safety.
(b) Nothing in this section prohibits the director from granting a special permit to use traps listed in this subsection to a person who applies for such a permit in writing, and who establishes that there exists on a property an animal problem that has not been and cannot be reasonably abated by the use of nonlethal control tools, including but not limited to guard animals, electric fencing, or box and cage traps, or if such nonlethal means cannot be reasonably applied. Upon making a finding in writing that the animal problem has not been and cannot be reasonably abated by nonlethal control tools or if the tools cannot be reasonably applied, the director may authorize the use, setting, placing, or maintenance of the traps for a period not to exceed thirty days.
(c) Nothing in this section prohibits the director from granting a special permit to department employees or agents to use traps listed in this subsection where the use of the traps is the only practical means of protecting threatened or endangered species as designated under RCW 77.08.010.
(d) Nothing in this section prohibits the director from issuing a permit to use traps listed in this subsection, excluding Conibear traps, for the conduct of legitimate wildlife research.
(5) Nothing in this section prohibits the United States fish and wildlife service, its employees or agents, from using a trap listed in subsection (4) of this section where the fish and wildlife service determines, in consultation with the director, that the use of such traps is necessary to protect species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal endangered species act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.).
(6)(a) An airport operator that uses a padded foot, leghold, or any other body-gripping trap for the protection of human and aviation security to secure an animal is exempt from the provisions of subsection (3) of this section if: (i) Once every three years, the airport operator obtains a special permit from the director for this purpose; and (ii) once each year, the airport operator submits a report to the director detailing the previous year's activities regulated under subsection (3) of this section.
(b) Nothing under this subsection (6) authorizes an airport operator to sell the raw fur of a mammal or otherwise violate the provisions of subsection (2) of this section.
(c) For the purposes of this subsection, “airport operator” has the same meaning as defined in RCW 14.08.015.
(7) A person violating this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[2019 c 382 § 1, eff. July 28, 2019; 2003 c 53 § 374, eff. July 1, 2004; 2001 c 1 § 3 (Initiative Measure No. 713, approved November 7, 2000).]
Intent--Effective date--2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.
Finding--Severability--2001 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 713): See notes following RCW 77.15.192.