Vermont Senate Bill 281, which would ban the use of dogs to hunt coyotes, was suddenly fast-tracked in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and has been scheduled for testimony at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 with a committee vote to follow on Feb. 25.
Act Now! Sportsmen need to contact committee members immediately and express strong opposition to Senate Bill 281. Contacts for committee members:
Senator Becca Balint: email@example.com (802) 257-4162 (Senate President Pro Tempore)
Senator Chris Bray: firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 453-3444 (Committee Chairman)
Senator Rich Westman: email@example.com (802) 644-2297
Senator Mark MacDonald: firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 272-1101
Senator Brian Campion: email@example.com (802) 375-4376
Senator Richard McCormack: firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 793-6417
S. 281 would prohibit the pursuit of coyotes with the aid of dogs, either for the taking of the predators or training of the dogs.
“Hunting regulations should, first and foremost, be deliberated by the fish and wildlife board with input from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, not forced through the legislative process by legislators with no biological justification and data,” said Brian Lynn, vice president of communications for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s a concerning bill for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it would protect an invasive species detrimental to agriculture and native wildlife.”
The bill’s only hearing took place virtually, despite the majority of government, excepting the Senate, returning to the capitol for business. The online hearing was plagued with problems from the beginning as participants were unable to connect, unreliable connections made testimony nearly impossible for rural residents and completely dropped connections caused confusion throughout the process.
“Affluent, urban anti-hunters who can afford, enjoy and have access to reliable internet connections were overrepresented in this single hearing. The committee then scheduled this hearing at the end of the day with less than 18 hours notice,” said Lynn. “While some senators feigned concern about the situation, the committee’s decision to fast-track the bill this week sends the message that the views of rural Vermonters and hunters who support scientific wildlife management but suffer under the state’s poor infrastructure were never really considered at all.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.