CHAPTER 326

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 816

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS 5, 7 and 13 OF TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO POSSESSION OR SETTING OF CERTAIN TRAPS AND PENALTIES THEREFORE; AND FOR THE CREATION OF A WILDLIFE THEFT PREVENTION FUND.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 7, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding the following new section:

"Section 728. Prohibition, Possession or Setting of Certain Killer, Body-gripping Traps.

Anyone who sets, tends or possesses or attempts to set or tend a killer, body-gripping trap with a jaw spread in excess of 5 inches shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $500 for the first offense and not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The fines imposed under this section shall not be suspended."

Section 2. Amend §512, Chapter 5, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection as follows:

"(c) The Department may revoke any hunting or trapping license or any similar licenses issued by it or deny any person the right to secure such license or to hunt or trap anywhere in this State for a period within its discretion of not less than 3 years nor more than 5 years if the licensee has been convicted of illegally possessing, tending or setting or attempting to set or tend a killer, body-gripping trap."

Section 3. Amend Chapter 5, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section to read as follows:

"Section 519. Trapping during revocation; penalty.

Whoever traps during a period when the Department has revoked or denied that person the right to secure a license to hunt or trap within the State pursuant to Section 512 of this chapter shall be fined $1,000. The fines imposed under this section shall not be suspended."

Section 4. Amend Chapter 13, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Section 1312 to read as follows:

"§1312. Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund; authorized expenditures.

A. There is hereby established by this section a Wildlife Theft Prevention Special Fund which shall consist of:

1. Monies received from fines imposed for violations of Chapter 1, 5, 6 and 7 of this Title.

1. Monies received from donations to the fund.

2. Monies appropriated by the General Assembly to the fund to carry out the purpose provided for in this section.

B. Funds from the Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund shall be expended only for the following purposes:

1. Financing of rewards to persons other than Peace Officers, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control personnel, or members of their immediate families, responsible for information leading to the conviction of any person for unlawfully taking, wounding or carrying, possessing, transporting or selling wildlife or trapping, attempting to trap or illegally setting traps for the purpose of catching wildlife. The Division of Fish and Wildlife shall establish a schedule of rewards for information received and payment shall be made from the funds available for this purpose. The amount of such reward shall not exceed $100.

2. Financing of a statewide telephone reporting system containing the name of Operation Game Theft.

3. Promotion of public recognition and awareness of the Wildlife Theft Prevention Special Program.

C. The Wildlife Theft Prevention Special Fund shall be expended in conformity with the laws governing the State financial operations, except that regulations shall be developed by the Department to maintain the confidentiality of the informant's identity.

D. For the purpose of implementing Paragraph A.1. above, all monies received from fines assessed for violation of Chapters 1, 5, 6 and 7 of this Title shall be deposited at least monthly with the State Treasurer to be retained by him in a Special Fund until expended upon proper vouchers of the Department to carry out the purposes of this section."

Section 5. Amend Section 791, Chapter 7, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (b) of said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"Th) Any person may trap, hunt with dogs, or otherwise take raccoons from any lands during the period as defined by Departmental regulations."

Section 6. Amend Section 791, Chapter 7, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection (c) to read us follows:

"(e) Raccoon and opossum may be legally trapped, statewide, in a box type trap operated in such a way as to confine but not otherwise harm the entrapped raccoon or opossum with a maximum opening dimension not to exceed 195 square inches."

Section 7. Amend subsection (b), Section 704, Chapter 7, Title 7 of the Delaware code by inserting between the word "muskrats," and the word "minks," the following:

"raccoon, opossum"

Approved July 8, 1980.