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The future of big cat hunting in Colorado is being challenged.
A bill was recently introduced in the state’s Senate that would ban the hunting of mountains, bobcats and other large cats in the state. Recent developments, however, suggest that the bill may be losing support.
A new bill in Colorado would ban the trapping and killing of certain big cats, although it would allow certain exceptions to protect livestock.
Bill SB22-031 prohibits the “shooting, wounding, killing or trapping a bobcat, Canada lynx or mountain lion.” The bill was initially sponsored by state senators Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Joann Ginal, along with representatives Judy Amabile and Monica Duran.
The bill does make some exceptions. Wounding or killing a big cat would be permitted in situations where the animal posed serious bodily harm.
Livestock owners would also be allowed to shoot or kill a big cat if it was necessary to protect their livestock from large predators (if the cat is on the shooter’s property).
The bill has reportedly lost support in recent days, however, and its future is uncertain.
Local politicians that opposed the bill, however, argued that it would make protecting livestock too difficult, Fox 31 reports. Opponents of the bill argued that by not hunting big cats, the population would be allowed to grow. This would then result in more attacks on wildlife and livestock.
Since the bill was originally introduced, three of its sponsors have reportedly dropped their support. In a statement obtained by local news outlets, Sen. Ginal said that the bill did not have the proper support from wildlife management scientists and other people on the ground.
She said that the bill needs further discussion to investigate its potential impacts.
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