RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]
Use of Cable Restraints for Taking Certain Fur- bearers
[35 Pa.B. 2304]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 25, 2005, meeting, adopted the following rulemaking:
Amend § 141.63 (relating to definitions) to expand the listed definitions and add § 141.66 (relating to cable restraints) to permit the use of cable restraints for taking certain furbearers.
This final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 34 Pa.B. 6547 (December 11, 2004).
1. Purpose and Authority
Trappers in this Commonwealth have requested that the use of cable restraints be permitted to take certain furbearers, namely coyotes and foxes. The Commission has weighed this public input against wildlife management interests and determined that the use of this additional device for these specific furbearers can be reasonably permitted. To make cable restraints lawful for taking these specific furbearers the Commission expanded the list of definitions found in § 141.63 to include and specifically define ''cable restraint'' and also added § 141.66 to establish the lawful methods, uses and periods during which cable restraints may be used.
Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' Section 322(c)(5) of the code (relating to powers and duties of the commission) specifically empowers the commission to ''Fix the type and number of devices which may be used to take game or wildlife.'' Section 2102(b)(1) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the commission to ''promulgate regulations relating to . . . the number and types of devices and equipment allowed, the identification of devices and the use and possession of devices.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''The commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to . . . the ways, manner, methods and means of . . . furtaking . . . in this Commonwealth.'' The amendments to §§ 141.63 and 141.66 were adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This final-form rulemaking will specifically define ''cable restraint'' in § 141.63 and will establish the lawful methods, uses and periods during which cable restraints may be used in § 141.66.
3. Persons Affected
Persons who wish to use cable restraints for the taking of certain furbearers, namely coyotes and foxes, will be affected by this final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
One-hundred and forty-five official written comments were received regarding this final-form rulemaking. These comments were comprised of 129 comments in favor and 16 comments in opposition of this final-form rulemaking. These 16 comments received in opposition to this rulemaking were primarily comprised of comments challenging the safety of cable restraints for collateral victims such as dogs. The remaining opposition comments received challenged the Commission's allowance of trapping in general.
Specifically, the majority of these comments claim there would be an unacceptable danger of injury or death for dogs inadvertently caught in these traps. Although the Commission recognizes the legitimate concerns of hunting dog owners and standard dog owners alike, it has concluded that if these cable restraints are set in a lawful manner and during the lawful seasons, the collateral risk to hunting dogs or other dogs at large is nominal.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
This rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1202 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.
The Commission, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 141, are amended by amending §§ 141.63 and by adding 141.66 to read as set forth at 34 Pa.B. 6547.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 34 Pa.B. 6547 and deposit them with the Legislative Reverence Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
VERNON R. ROSS,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-705. Filed for public inspection April 15, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]
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