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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Humane Society of the United States: years of mea culpas re: moles and gophers…

The Humane Society of the United States, the prime mover behind the 2000 initiative that banned "body-gripping" animal traps, has spent virtually every year since then defending the measure against repeal by an unlikely alliance of suburban Democrats and rural Republicans.

The ruralites have always hated the measure because they say it makes it much harder to control problem coyotes, raccoons, possums, and so on. The suburbanites have grown to dislike it because moles and gophers are causing major problems in lawns, golf courses, dikes and cemeteries, and under an interpretation of the initiative by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, the measure protects even moles and gophers from the deadly traps.

This has caused a lot of heartburn and lobbying hours for HSUS, whose members spent much of 2000 insisting to lawmakers and voters that the trapping ban wouldn't protect moles and gophers.

Here's an interesting exchange from this morning. It starts with hunting and fishing lobbyist Ed Owens, who says that the group "misrepresented" what the measure would do.

Left trying to stave off a repeal is HSUS' Jennifer Hillman, who repeatedly pointed out Wednesday that HSUS's Lisa Wathne, who led that campaign seven years ago, is no longer with the group. Here's Hillman's take on the situation.

(Copyrighted clips courtesy TVW, Washington's public affairs network.)

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