The New Hampshire Trappers Association ( NHTA ) was well prepared to represent NH trappers at the House Fish & Game Committee meeting in opposition of HB 565, a bill to outlaw foothold and conibear traps.
Trappers were asked to meet at a public parking lot in Concord.
NHTA arranged for a bus to shuttle us to the State House. Standing is Dwight Pennell, President of the NHTA. This was the second run. The first trip was full.
Trappers entering the State House.
Most bill hearings are held in conference rooms. Due to the amount of trappers anticipated the hearing was held in Representative Hall.
NH House F&G Committee
This is the sponsor of the bill Rep. Vaillancourt. He came late and he left early.
I had to leave for work after the lunch break. There were still 19 more people who asked to speak. Dwight told me NHTA still had some heavy hitters left to testify. They expected the hearing to go till 3 PM
Supporting NH trappers were,
The NH Fish & Game
NH Department of Transportation
Past Speaker of the House
Past house members
NH road agent
This is ex Senator Burt Cohen. Senator Cohen was a past sponsor of legislation in the NH Senate to outlaw traps. He started his testimony stating we have all made mistakes. He told us his mistake was for sponsoring bad this legislation in the past.
Please note the NHTA pin he is wearing. He testified in SUPPORT of trappers.
It was clear by questions asked by Rep Skinder of the committee to people testifying she was in favor of this bill. She even wore a Humane Society button.
That was until the past House Speaker pointed it out to Chairman Abbott, whom she had her back to this was in bad taste of house ethics. She immediately removed the button. But the damage was done. She was publicly embarrassed. You could tell that didn't go over well with her fellow committee members.
As soon as we know the outcome of the committee vote we will post it.