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Monday, March 09, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Fenced hunting fight should end" - but where is the option?

"Fenced hunting fight should end" is the headline to Lesley Weidenbener's Sunday column in the Louisville Courier Journal. The conclusion:

Last year lawmakers came close to a decision. But a bill to legalize the preserves died in the Senate when only 25 of the 50 members voted yes — one shy of the majority needed to pass the bill.

Enough.

It's time for the General Assembly to decide one way or another.

The House has passed a bill to legalize the existing operations and let the DNR and the State Board of Animal Health regulate them. Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is now holding that bill, waiting for a proposal he considers fair and reasonable.

Meanwhile, no rules govern the operations.

"It appears that we are looking at a Wild West situation if we don't do something," Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, said last year. "If we don't act, anything could go."

And that's just not a good idea for anyone.

ILB: Unfortunately, the House appears to have put the Senate in a position where there is no second option. From a Feb. 5th editorial in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, wanted to offer another choice besides legitimizing the concept of high-fence hunting with a clear set of rules. He introduced another bill, HB 442, that would simply ban canned hunting.

“I don’t think that it’s a sport,” said Miller. In addition, “we are endangering the deer population” outside the fences.

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, chairwoman of the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday she doesn’t intend to give Miller’s bill a hearing. Glick said she doesn’t want to ban the preserves because it would hurt farmers in the state who raise white-tail deer to sell to such operations.

Instead, she will focus on Eberhart’s measure, with a hearing to ensure all the issues are addressed. “I’d rather have that bill than an absolute ban at this point in time,” Glick said. No solution will please all, she observed. “There are some people who are opposed to hunting in its entirety.”

That’s true, but you don’t have to be a tree-hugger or a vegetarian to think these preserves should be denied state sanction. Honest-to-goodness hunters who take offense at the canned-hunting concept and fear for the health of Indiana’s deer population need to be heard from in this debate, too.

Miller’s bill deserves a sporting chance. Like those penned-in deer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 9, 2015 11:09 AM
Posted to Indiana Government