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New Jersey

New Jersey Statutes Annotated. Title 23. Fish and Game, Wild Birds and Animals. Chapter 4. Game, Wild Birds and Animals. Article 2. Manner, Means and Times of Hunting.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: NJ ST 23:4-20 to 23:22.8

Citation: N. J. S. A. 23:4-20 to 23:22.8


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   This set of New Jersey laws describes what constitutes "unlawful trapping." The section prohibits pole traps with a fine of $20 for each pole trap illegally used. Further, the law states that no person shall manufacture, sell, offer for sale, possess, import, transport or use an animal trap of the steel-jaw leghold type. A person using a steel-jaw leghold type animal trap shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $250.00 for a first offense; not less than $250.00 nor more than $500.00 for a second offense; not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,500.00 for a third or subsequent offense. Interestingly, there is also a law that directs Rutgers University to identify or develop an animal trap that substantially reduces injury and pain to both targeted and nontargeted animals that are caught in the trap and could serve as an alternative to the steel-jaw leghold type animal trap.


Statute in Full:

23:4-20. Trapped or snared game; possession or sale; setting traps

23:4-21. Trapping hare by children

23:4-22. “Pole traps” prohibited; penalty

23:4-22.1. Steel-jaw leghold type trap prohibition

23:4-22.2. Use banned

23:4-22.3. Possession as prima facie evidence of violation

23:4-22.4. Study to develop better trap ordered

23:4-22.5. Allowable uses and possessions

23:4-22.6. Rules and regulations; contents

23:4-22.7. Fines

23:4-22.8. Confiscation

 

 

23:4-20. Trapped or snared game; possession or sale; setting traps

No person shall have in possession, sell or offer for sale a game bird or game animal enumerated in this chapter, after the same has been caught or trapped by means of a snare, snood, net, trap or other device, or set a snare, snood, net, trap or other device for catching or trapping the same, under a penalty of twenty dollars for each bird or animal so had in possession, sold or exposed for sale, or for any trap or snare so set. The penalties provided herein for the possession of such game shall not apply to a dealer in or purchaser of any rabbit or hare upon proof that the rabbit or hare was not trapped in this state.

Source:

L.1903, c. 246, § 18, p. 531 [C.S. p. 2510, § 29], amended by L.1915, c. 252, § 1, p. 453 [1924 Suppl. § 79-29].

 

23:4-21. Trapping hare by children

A person owning or in possession of a farm may permit any person under fifteen years of age connected with his household to catch hares, commonly called rabbits, in box traps, within the limits of the farm during the time and under the conditions in which it is lawful to shoot or catch the same.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

1997 Main Volume

Source:

L.1887, c. 179, § 1, p. 246 [C.S. p. 2521, § 94].


23:4-22. “Pole traps” prohibited; penalty

No person shall set or use any snare, snood, net, trap or other device for the catching or trapping of a bird or animal above the level of the surrounding ground and commonly known as “pole traps”. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the setting of traps or snares on the ground or prohibit trapping by the board or its employees on fish hatcheries or game farms. A person violating this section shall be liable to a penalty of twenty dollars for each snare, snood, net, trap or device so set or used.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

1997 Main Volume

Source:

L.1928, c. 8, § 1, p. 19.


23:4-22.1. Steel-jaw leghold type trap prohibition

No person shall manufacture, sell, offer for sale, possess, import or transport an animal trap of the steel-jaw leghold type.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 1.

 

23:4-22.2. Use banned

No person shall take or attempt to take any animal by means of a trap of the steel-jaw leghold type.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 2.

 

23:4-22.3. Possession as prima facie evidence of violation

The possession of a trap of the steel-jaw leghold type shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of section 2 of this amendatory and supplementary act [FN1] except under the circumstances indicated by section 5 of this amendatory and supplementary act. [FN2]

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 3.

[FN1] N.J.S.A. § 23:4-22.2.
[FN2] N.J.S.A. § 23:4-22.5.

 

23:4-22.4. Study to develop better trap ordered

The Board of Governors of Rutgers, The State University, shall direct the Department of Wildlife Management at Cook College to conduct a study to identify or develop an animal trap which substantially reduces injury and pain to both targeted and nontargeted animals which are caught in the trap and which could serve as an alternative to the steel-jaw leghold type animal trap. The results of this study shall be published in a report to the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, hereinafter referred to as the “council,” in the Department of Environmental Protection within one year of the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act. For the purposes of this amendatory and supplementary act, the steel-jaw leghold type animal trap does not mean mouse and rat traps designed for use in or under buildings.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 4, eff. April 27, 1984.


23:4-22.5. Allowable uses and possessions

This amendatory and supplementary act shall not be construed to prevent the use of steel-jaw leghold traps for the purpose of exhibition by humane or educational institutions and organizations, or the possession of such traps by a person in the act of turning over the traps to a law enforcement agency.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 5, eff. April 27, 1984.


23:4-22.6. Rules and regulations; contents

The council shall, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt the rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act. These regulations shall provide at least the following:

If the study conducted pursuant to section 4 of this amendatory and supplementary act [FN1] identifies or develops a suitable alternative animal trap, the council shall establish a program for the phased withdrawal of the steel-jaw leghold animal trap from use in the State, which prescribes the conditions under which the suitable alternative may be used, which withdrawal must occur within 18 months of the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 6, eff. April 27, 1984.

[FN1] N.J.S.A. § 23:4-22.4.

 

23:4-22.7. Fines

A person using a steel-jaw leghold type animal trap in violation of any rule or regulation under this amendatory and supplementary act shall, for each illegal trap involved, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $250.00 for a first offense; not less than $250.00 nor more than $500.00 for a second offense; not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 7.

 

23:4-22.8. Confiscation

All equipment used in, or animals and pelts obtained by a violation of section 2 of this amendatory and supplementary act [FN1] shall be confiscated by any law enforcement agency enforcing this amendatory and supplementary act. This bill shall not be construed to authorize the confiscation of animals and pelts other than those which have been obtained in violation of section 2 of this amendatory and supplementary act and which are either held by a trap or in the possession of a violator.

CREDIT(S)

L.1984, c. 37, § 8, eff. April 27, 1984.

[FN1] N.J.S.A. § 23:4-22.2.


 



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