NewsPublic Affairs / February 22, 2016

House Committee Passes High-Fenced Deer Hunting Bill Without Changes

A House committee Monday approved a bill regulating high-fenced deer hunting without making any changes to the measure.   - stock photo

A House committee Monday approved a bill regulating high-fenced deer hunting without making any changes to the measure.

stock photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- A House committee Monday approved a bill regulating high-fenced deer hunting without making any changes to the measure. 

The measure imposes rules on an industry that was left unregulated by court rulings last year. It sets regulations on the facilities, mandating things such as fence height, acreage, and reporting of escape and disease. 

A House committee last week discussed potential changes, but didn’t propose or enact any. Committee Chair Sean Eberhart says he had thought about raising the facilities’ yearly licensing fee above the bill’s $300.  But he says he opted against it after consulting with the Board of Animal Health.  BOAH is in charge of inspecting the facilities and would get that licensing money.

“They feel fairly comfortable that that will be enough money to make them self-sufficient," Eberhart said. "I want to make sure that the money coming from the hunting preserves will be enough to properly fund the program.”

Some lawmakers might try to change the bill on the floor.  Democrat Sue Errington says she’s concerned about a lack of a bond requirement in the measure.  If a disease outbreak occurs in a facility, she argues, it will be the state on the hook for the fallout, without any financial requirements imposed on the preserves.

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