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Print

NM depredation bill clears first hurdle

January 26, 2010 at 02:29 PM

Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico officials and wildlife groups are pressing the Legislature once again to eliminate a provision in state law that allows farmers and ranchers to kill wildlife on private land, unless the animals are predators that pose an immediate threat to humans, livestock or pets.

Legislation that would reform New Mexico’s depredation law passed its first hurdle Tuesday with a 5-3 vote in the House Health and Government Affairs Committee.

Under the bill, it would be illegal for landowners to kill big game animals simply for threatening crops.

The bill calls for the Department of Game and Fish to investigate any crop damage and come up a non-lethal solution. That could mean providing fencing material for the landowner.

Critics say the bill will only result in frustration for landowners.

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