Bill to end Nebraska mountain-lion season advances - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Bill to end Nebraska mountain-lion season advances

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A bill to end Nebraska's mountain lion hunting season has cleared a first-round vote in the Legislature.
 
Senator Ernie Chambers says he introduced the bill because the animals were native to the region, and they pose no real threat to humans. He says hunters only want to kill them for sport.
 
Opponents say the mountain lion population should be regulated by experts at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

"The community of Scottsbluff has some difficulties at times with cats coming into the community near the high school," says Scottsbluff Senator John Harms, adding, "I recently saw one near a church."
 
"My fear is we're going to see more attacks on livestock, horses, cattle," says Hyannis Senator Al Davis.
 
"I don't like the bill and I'm not going to filibuster it," added Ogallala Senator Ken Schilz, "I'm just going to tell everyone my feelings. Tell everyone what I think should happen and we'll see how the vote comes out."

Lawmakers advanced the measure Friday on a 31-5 vote.
 
The bill includes exceptions that allow farmers and ranchers to kill mountain lions that threaten their property. People could also kill the animals to defend themselves if attacked.
 
Two more votes are required before the bill goes to Governor Dave Heineman.

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