GREENSBORO – Greensboro officials are considering enacting a town ordinance prohibiting certain classes of traps on town properties without a permit from the selectboard. After a lengthy discussion during their meeting last week, the selectboard decided to have a meeting to receive public input.
State legislators are already considering a bill that proposes to prohibit the trapping of fur-bearing animals unless the person is authorized to trap in order to defend property or agricultural crops, or the trapping is conducted by a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator.
Greensboro Selectboard Member David Kelley, said during last week’s selectboard meeting that he testified in front of the House Environment and Energy Committee on recreational trapping and complying with the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines.
“We took videos off of YouTube that Vermont Trappers had posted,” said Kelley. “The committee said that ‘we can’t watch these, these are too hideous. You can’t show these in our committee.”
Kelley said that a friend of his sent him a public relations video that the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife puts out to kids about their summer camp and promotion of trapping.
“It’s just unbelievable,” he said of the video. “The more you get into this stuff, the more unbelievable it becomes, and how our taxpayer money is being spent at the Department of Fish and Wildlife.”
“The proposal is that we have to respect the Sportsmen Bill of Rights. We can’t contradict any state law, but the proposal is to say that nobody can use a leg-hold trap, body-crushing trap, body-gripping trap, or a drowning trap on any land belonging to the Town of Greensboro without a permit from the selectboard. It’s just a simple ordinance.”
Kelley, who moved that the selectboard adopt an ordinance, said it’s more symbolic than anything, but it sends a message that he believes is valuable.
“I think our ethics toward wildlife is necessarily changing,” he said. “We ought to say that we want to see it change.”
However, some selectboard members weren’t so quick to vote on the motion and indicated so. One selectboard member indicated that they hold a public hearing to hear both sides of the issue before they vote. Kelley continued to say the issue is something that he cares deeply about.
“I think the world needs to move, and it begins here,” said Kelley.
Selectboard Member Gary Circosta said the town doesn’t need more ordinances that are not going to be enforced or have no practical impact. Selectboard Chair Peter Romans said he has no problems with holding a public meeting and is pretty certain Greensboro residents will be very supportive of the ordinance. Kelley agreed to have a public meeting and said he would send a direct-to-door mail piece to every citizen of Greensboro and invite the newspapers to attend.