A California law requires a trapping license in order to kill mice.

The Animal Protection Institute of Sacramento pushed the bill, which mandates anyone who takes furbearing mammals or non-game animals must purchase a trapping license by passing a complex test and paying a fee of $78.50, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Fish and Game Code 4005 defines non-game animals as including mice, rats, gophers and moles, the paper noted.

However, Scott Paulsen, chief of law enforcement for the Department of Fish and Game, said the law would not be enforced for personal use.

Nevertheless, he says, the statute is enforced for commercial use.

That means if a citizen hires a gardener or pest control service to set traps at his house, they could face arrest without a permit.

Terry Knight of the Lake County Fish and Wildlife Committee said the DFG did not support the bill but it was promoted by the Animal Protection Institute.

“I can see the headlines now, ‘Mice trappers face jail term,’ ” Knight said. “But if you get the permit, the real problem you’re facing is that it takes too many mice to make a fur coat.”

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