House OKs Mullery bill to increase penalty for body-gripping traps

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – The penalty for illegally setting body-gripping traps would be increased under legislation that passed the House of Representatives unanimously today, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Gerald Mullery.

State law requires all body-gripping traps to be set inside an established watercourse, waterway, marsh, pond, or dam.

“Unfortunately, body-gripping traps are often illegally placed outside these water locations, inadvertently luring dogs and other domestic animals, which are often seriously injured or killed by the traps,” said Mullery, Democratic vice chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

The frequency and severity of this problem prompted the Pennsylvania Game Commission to restrict the size of openings for these traps to reduce the number of domestic animals being killed or injured by them.

“Even with this size restriction, I believe it is necessary to strengthen the penalty for those who place these traps in unapproved and illegal locations,” Mullery said.

Mullery’s bill would raise the penalty from a fine of up to $200 to a fine of up to $1,500 and up to three months in prison.

The legislation (H.B. 301) moves to the state Senate for consideration.