Viewpoint: Bill misleads in attempt to add trapping to constitution
H.B 372 is a greatly misleading bill that harms wildlife and public land access. Titled as “Establish the Right to Hunt in the Constitution,” it's a right which has already been established.
The Montana Constitution under article 9 section 7 states: “The opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals is a heritage that shall forever be preserved to the individual citizens of the state and does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminution of other private rights.”
Rep. Paul Fielder, a trapper himself, would like to add trapping to our constitution in a deceitful manner and trample the rights of over 1 million other Montanans who hunt, fish, and recreate responsibly in our shared public lands.
Trapping often leads to the inhumane torture of unintended targets with no regulation of how often traps are checked for injured animals. This bill would open up our coveted public lands to be riddled with dangerous iron jaws for people and their pets to potentially step on.
This harmful bill has received significant support from out-of-state groups with misleading names such as Howl for Wildlife from California, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife from Utah, and others that wish to exploit the wildlife of our state.
As of Wed, March 29th, HB 372 has cleared its first hurdle and passed the House Judiciary committee. Please call your Representatives before it gets a vote on the House floor