OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Senator Vin Gopal today introduced Senate Bill S3611, which would prohibit any individual under the age of 18 from being issued a trapping license. Senator Gopal issued the following statement regarding this legislation:
“Last December, I was shocked and angered by a disturbing and widely circulated video that showed two teenagers cruelly beating an innocent racoon whose leg had become caught in a trap. This is not an isolated incident, and its implications are troubling.
“Multiple studies have highlighted a clear link between animal cruelty as a child and an adult proclivity toward serious and potentially lethal domestic abuse. Moreover, from Columbine to Parkland, we have seen an alarming trend of mass shooters who have a record of abusing animals in their youth. It is clear that we must act to cut off this practice at the root.
“Given the potentially cruel applications of many kinds of animal traps, it is important that we limit their use to experienced and emotionally mature trappers only. The animals that reside in New Jersey’s beautiful open spaces and woodlands do not deserve to be caught, tortured, and killed for the amusement of a wayward youth. If these devices are to be used, they must be set intelligently and humanely. With this legislation, it is my hope that we can prevent at-risk youth from entering into a destructive spiral of violence.”