Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Legalized Snares

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich recently vetoed Illinois House Bill 1486 which would have legalized the use of snares in wildlife trapping.

The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the Illinois House of Representatives (87-27) and Senate (49-2). But Balgojevich transmitted the following message of veto,

August 12, 2005

To the Honorable Members of the
Illinois House of Representatives
94th General Assembly

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 9(b) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby veto
House Bill 1486, entitled “AN ACT concerning wildlife.” House Bill 1486 allows hunters to use snares to trap animals such as raccoons, foxes and beavers on land. These traps have been banned in Illinois for over 50 years because the trapÂ’s wire hoop strangles the animal. Twenty-one states in the nation do not allow the use of snares.

Snares are inhumane and indiscriminate. Not only do they cruelly kill wild animals for their fur, they may also kill domestic pets and even endangered species. Even though the bill requires a mechanism on the snare to reduce the chance of strangulation, the safety provisions are still inadequate and animals would suffer unnecessarily. While I support the hunters and trappers of Illinois, I refuse to support this particularly gruesome hunting method thatÂ’s been banned in the state for years.

For this reason, I hereby veto and return House Bill 1486.



There is no word yet on whether the House and Senate will try to override the governor’s veto.

Animal rights groups commended the governor’s veto. In a press release, Camilla Fox of the Animal Protection Institute said,

We commend Governor Rod Blagojevich for saying ‘No’ to the fur industry’s attempts to further legalize a device that is known to cause immense pain and suffering to animals. With this action, the Governor has made a clear statement that snares have no place in a humane and civilized world.

The full text of the vetoed legislation can be read here.


Animal advocates commend Governor Blagojevich’s veto of bill that would expand use of cruel snares in Illinois. Press Release, Animal Protection Institute and Illinois Humane, August 16, 2005.

Georgia to Resume Alligator Hunt

According to a story in the Christian Science Monitor, Georgia will join a growing number of states allowing alligator hunting to control that species’ numbers.

This quite a turnaround for a species that whose numbers had dwindled in the 1960s to the point that Southern states instituted bans on alligator hunting. Today, however, alligator numbers have exploded to the point that alligator populations continue to expand even in states such as Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana where commercial hunting of alligators has been restored.

Georgia will not be reinstating serious commercial hunting of alligators, but will instead issue 180 alligator licenses targeting sport hunters. According to the Christian Science Monitor, that’s out of an estimated alligator population of 200,000.

This is the point in the story where we find the obligatory animal rights quote opposing the hunt, this time from the Animal Protection Institute’s Camilla Fox who told the Christian Science Monitor,

It’s better to try to coexist with the animal that is present than remove them and potentially bring in . . . a greater problem.

In a press release on its web site, the Animal Protection Institute expanded on Fox’s sentiments,

The state of Georgia is proposing its first alligator-hunting season for September 2003 — and the hunt will be excessively fierce and cruel.

. . .

By nature, alligators are shy and reclusive, and are typically wary of humans. As people continue to invade their territory, the animals are forced into closer contact with civilization. Loss of habitat, prey, and polluted waters are some of the risks that alligators already face. They do not need the added stress of being hunted as well.

If alligators are so stressed, why do their populations continue to increase? Sounds like it’s API that needs to relax.


The alligator hunt returns. Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 2003.

Help Stop the Cruel & Unnecessary Sport Hunting of Georgia Alligators. Press Release, Animal Protection Institute, July 24, 2003.