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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Olympia

Trapping ban hangs in the balance…

Lawmakers have voted to repeal much of the three-year-old ban on body-gripping traps. The bill's now sitting on the desk of Gov. Gary Locke, awaiting his signature -- or his veto. A spokeswoman said the governor's office is still researching the bill.
The most effective lobbyists for the change turned out to be moles and gophers. Their burrowing in soccer fields and lawns won some urban votes.
"That (digging) has got a whole lot of the urban Seattleites who voted for this thing pretty jaw-clenched," said trapping proponent Ed Owens. "The moles and gophers were eating up their $25,000 landscapes."
Others are appalled at the proposed undoing of the ban. Doris Mussil gathered dozens of signatures for the initiative. All her life, she's felt that trapping is barbaric. If she could, she'd even ban those glue traps that people use to catch mice.
"Even a little mouse has feelings," the Spokane Valley woman said. "To have them stuck on a little board, struggling, until they starve to death -- that's no way to treat even a mouse."
Locke must decide what to do by Tuesday.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.