WYOMING — A Wyoming bill that would require the state to get the approval of animal control agencies before it uses dogs to shoot beavers has been approved by the state House and Senate.
The bill would prohibit the use of dogs by the Bureau of Wildlife Management unless the agency has an approved permit, which requires approval from the Wyoming Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Dan Siegel, R-Eugene, also would require Wyoming Department Secretary Bill Cushman to ensure that agencies using dogs have no ties to the state.
It also would prohibit any law enforcement agency from using a beaver without the proper permit from the state and federal wildlife agencies.
The measure was approved by a majority vote on Tuesday, the first of the 2017 legislative session.
The legislation also cleared the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee on a 7-4 vote on Wednesday.
Siegel said the bill would give the state more flexibility in using beavers, and it would also help protect endangered species such as wolves, coyotes and black bears.
“I think this bill will help us with wildlife management,” Siegel said.
“We’ve had a lot of beaver issues, and we need to have more options for managing beavers.”
He added, “If you have a lot more beaver on the prairie, it’s hard to make a decision.
The federal government doesn’t want to be a part of that.
The state doesn’t.”
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