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2013 State Legislation:


New Mexico: HB 316 Bans Animal Killing Contests

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update (February 2013): The bill failed in committee.

Bill description: New Mexico has seen a recent rash of animal killing contests that threaten public safety, are inhumane and are not biologically sound. Killing contests reward people for killing the most animals; prizes offered often have included monetary incentives and semiautomatic rifles. These contests are unethical and send a dangerous message that life is cheap and that senseless killing is cause for celebration. According to a New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Ray Powell, contest hunts are “about personal profit, animal cruelty, and the severe destruction of the delicate balance of this desert ecosystem. It is time outlaw this highly destructive activity.”

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Sponsor(s): Rep. Roberto Gonzales (D-42)

New Mexico: H.B. 579 Restricts Body-Gripping Traps and Poisons

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill died in the House Energy & Natural Resources Committee.

Bill description: The bill restricts body-gripping traps (including leghold traps and snares) and poisons across New Mexico. Untold numbers of New Mexico’s wildlife, people and companion animals have suffered from the unimaginable cruelty from virtually unregulated and hidden traps and poisons in New Mexico, and this bill honors the pride that New Mexicans take in their native wildlife as well as makes people and their pets safe.

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Sponsor(s): Sen. David Marsden (D-37)

Virginia: SB 1280 Restricts Fox and Coyote Penning

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill passed the Senate on 2/5/13 with a vote of 24-16, but died in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee on 2/18/13.

Bill description: Limits the cruel practice of “fox and coyote penning” — enclosing a fox or coyote in to be killed or harassed by dogs. While it is not a complete ban, this bill takes an important step by prohibiting any competition where any fox or coyote is pursued by dogs and the fox or coyote is in an enclosure, limiting the number of dogs allowed in an enclosure and more.

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South Dakota: SB 205 Authorizes the Hunting of Wolves in Certain Circumstances (UPDATED)

Born Free USA position: OPPOSE

Update (March 2013): This bill passed and was signed into law by the governor.

Bill description: This bill sets the stage for wolves to be killed in any manner should they ever return to South Dakota. Currently there are no wolves in the state. This bill preemptively adds wolves to the list of animals designated as "predator/varmint," and allows for wolves to be hunted, taken or killed in any area of the state. On Feb. 5, 2013, this bill passed the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee by a 9-0 vote.

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South Dakota: HB 1148 Eases Rules on Checking Traps and Removing Caught Animals

Born Free USA position: OPPOSE

Update (February 2013): Good news! By a 9-4 vote this bill was “deferred to the 41st day,” which means it will not travel further and is now dead.

Bill description: This bill expands the trap check time to three days statewide. Currently the minimum trap check time is two days in most of the state and threee days in one portion of the state.

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Sponsor(s): Rep. Ted Washburn (R-69)

Montana: H.B. 31 Creates a Wolf Hunting Season

Born Free USA position: OPPOSE

Update: Failed to pass the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee on 4/24/13.

Bill description: H.B. 31 creates statewide general wolf hunting season from October 1 to February 28 each year. The maximum number of wolves allowed in the state is set at 250.

Read the bill text here.

Thank you for your willingness to speak out for animal protection issues! Your voice has the power to help influence elected officials to improve the lives of countless animals. It's time to get involved, if you are not already.

Please be aware that our State Legislative webpages do not necessarily list every animal protection bill pending in the various state legislatures. If you are aware of a bill in your state that concerns wildlife or captive exotic animals that is not listed on our website, please contact legislation@bornfreeusa.org.

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