Republican Rep. Joel Kretz said last night he found two mole traps stuck into soil on the Capitol Campus, raising questions about the state’s compliance with Initiative 713’s ban on body-gripping traps.
Voters approved I-713 in 2000, and efforts to change it legislatively to allow mole traps have failed several times. I put in a call last night and again this morning to the Department of General Administration, which manages state government properties, but spokesman Steve Valandra said he would have to look into it further.
“The irony is if I’ve got coyotes killing my sheep I can’t put a trap out. But if you’ve got a mole on the Capitol Campus, you can,” Kretz said, suggesting there is a need to change the law to that people protecting their property and crops from animal damage can use traps for that purpose.
UPDATE: General Administration spokesman Steve Valandra says it is true. The agency’s groundskeepers have used body-gripping traps and will pull the five to 10 traps set on various Capitol Campus lawns in order to comply with the law.
The agency lacked permits and will look into getting them for traps that do not grip the target animal’s body, Valandra said this morning. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is also investigating but likely will only give the agency a warning, chief of enforcement Bruce Bjork said.