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Friday, January 22, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Lawmakers endorse regulating fenced-in hunting"

Yesterday's first house passage of SB 109 is reported by Dan Carden in this NWI Times story today. From the story:

Indiana's seven hunting preserves, where Hoosiers can shoot an unlimited number of deer, sheep and goats kept in a fenced area, soon could be subject to state regulation.

Senate Bill 109, co-sponsored by state Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte — whose district borders the Backwoods Preserve in Plymouth — aims to bring order to what currently is an unsupervised industry after state courts last year concluded that prior regulations were invalid.

The legislation, which passed the Republican-controlled Senate 29-19 and now goes to the Republican-controlled House, puts the State Board of Animal Health, instead of the Department of Natural Resources, in charge of licensing and inspecting the hunting preserves, which must enclose at least 100 acres.

It also requires individuals who shoot a deer at a hunting preserve to pay a $150 license fee to the state. Shooting a goat or sheep would require an $80 license.

The measure also prohibits shooting animals remotely using a computer-fired weapon.

ILB: For background on this issue, see this Nov. 16, 2015 ILB post, and its links.

Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has this story today - some quotes:

An appellate court ruling last year said the Indiana Department of Natural Resources overstepped its authority in banning captive hunts of privately owned deer. That legalized the facilities in existence under an injunction and allowed them to proliferate with no rules.

The General Assembly had two choices this year: ban them completely or regulate and let them grow. There hasn’t been enough support in the past for a ban, and the Senate bill took the latter approach.

Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, would have preferred a middle ground – limiting the industry to the four facilities in existence before the court ruling.

That number has grown to seven in the state.

Stoops also noted that there are no limits on how many animals can be hunted and that the bill opens up hunting to exotic sheep and goats as well.

“How are we doing this to the state of Indiana?” Stoops asked.

“It’s not hunting,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can call this hunting.”

Sen. John Broden, D- ;South Bend, said he personally abhors the concept of hunting preserves and so-called canned hunting.

“My preference would be to ban this activity altogether, but efforts to do that in the past have failed,” he said. “Thus, I supported SB 109 so that there would at least be some regulation of this activity.”

Under the bill, the DNR would have no role in regulating the entities. Instead, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health would assume full oversight, including licensing and inspections.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 22, 2016 08:34 AM
Posted to Indiana Government