Responding to a spate of accidental dog deaths in traps, Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, is introducing legislation to restrict the use of body-grip traps. The legislation would require that the traps be either 5 feet off the ground or completely submerged in water. He said 25 other states have similar standards for the traps.
“These traps are extremely dangerous,” Ward said Thursday.
The traps are designed to catch animals such as raccoons and bobcats and are legal on almost all public land. Ward said the traps could even endanger an inquisitive toddler who strayed into the woods.
“We would pray and hope that never does happen,” he said. “That’s not out of reality to happen. I’m an animal lover. My heart goes out to those people who have lost their dogs.”
He said the DNR agrees that there is a problem and that even some trappers agree with some restrictions.
Ward said the legislation, which is being authored in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, would likely be introduced by the end of next week.