A Vermont state representative has proposed legislation that would paralyze wildlife management efforts to control predators. Rep. Lawrence Satcowitz (D-103) has introduced House Bill 323, which prohibits hunting black bears and coyotes using dogs.
This bill follows another bill authored by Rep. Satcowitz, which would outlaw trapping unless conducted by nuisance trappers, and only after reports of animal damage. House Bill 191 prevents the proactive management of furbearing mammals, and instead allows trapping only after someone has suffered an economic loss or crop and livestock damage.
Last session, Vermont legislators wisely agreed to allow the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and Board to create new rules for coyote hunting that addressed landowner concerns. H.323 would scrap that effort before discovering whether the new rules would be effective.
“Clearly Rep. Satcowitz would leave Vermonters defenseless against problem bears, coyotes, along with problem furbearers, such as beavers that cause flooding if not controlled, raccoons that carry rabies and more,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs with the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Instead of having the benefit of willing license buyers to control predator and furbearing animal numbers before they attack people or cause property damage, the representative would prefer to clean up the mess after the fact, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.”
Rep. Satcowitz’s attack on sportsmen puts people at risk, especially children, the elderly and the disabled as predators often target the vulnerable. Coupled with the trapping ban proposal and the expected surge in flooding and rabies cases that come as a result of these prohibitions, H.323 and H.191 are terrible ideas for Vermont citizens.
“Rep. Satcowitz is putting people in harm’s way,” warned Adkins. “Other Northeastern states are trending the other direction, loosening up bear hunting regulations in response to attacks on people. Vermont legislators shouldn’t take this risk. House Bill 323 and House Bill 191 need to be defeated.”
Please use our Take Action button to email your state Representative and urge them to oppose H.323 and H.191.
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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.