SB 55 - Coyote Bill Moves to the House Floor
The bill to allow ranchers to hunt of coyotes from a snowmobile is a step closer to becoming law. The House Agriculture Committee passed the bill by a unanimous vote. SDPB's Charles Michael Ray has this story
The bill is seen as a way to allow landowners to protect livestock. Several ranchers testified that coyotes have taken a toll on their livestock and that this will help control the population. Republican Representative Stace Nelson from Fulton spoke in favor of the bill.
"Some of the information the Game Fish and Parks gave us indicates the Game Fish and Parks spends about 600-thousand dollars a year on about 13-hundred coyote and fox complaints. If this takes off a little bit of their casework or their load, and if they can spend that money elsewhere I'm all for that." says Nelson.
The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department spoke against the bill in a previous hearing, but did not testify in the House committee. Opponents say the bill is unethical as it would allow a landowner to chase a coyote to death with a snowmobile. Opponents also say shooting coyotes is not a proven means of population control. The bill goes on to a final vote in the House.
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