Missoula tightens restrictions on trapping ordinance

Posted at 8:39 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 00:38:01-05

MISSOULA — In a unanimous vote, Missoula City Council adopted an amendment banning trapping on Missoula’s parks, trails, and conservation lands.

The amendment comes after a handful of issues over the years involving dogs getting caught in traps.

The ordinance now clarifies "hunting" versus "trapping," gives judges more leeway in sentencing people who violate the law, and authorizes the parks and rec department to release or confiscate animal traps found within parks and trails.

City Council member Julie Merritt spoke up during the city council meeting as one of the main proponents of the ordinance.

"I feel strongly that it’s important that we take these steps to protect family pets or even small children from the dangers of being hurt or killed in traps in our city parks. Our city parks are just not a place for traps," said Merritt.

Footloose Montana, an organization promoting trap-free public lands has been vocal about the ordinance in recent weeks.

They hope the new ordinance alleviates some of the stress pet owners feel when recreating.