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Amendment To High-Fenced Hunting Bill Defeated In Senate

Senate Republicans Tuesday rebuffed attempts by Democrats to tighten regulations on Indiana’s high-fenced hunting preserves.

A 2015 court ruling left high-fenced hunting preserves totally unregulated, giving some lawmakers an extra sense of urgency to impose rules on the industry this session.  But environmental and animal rights groups have significant issues with Jasper Republican Senator Mark Messmer’s bill.

Democrats tried to remedy one of these on the Senate floor with an amendment that would bar people from hunting wild sheep and goats – a practice the bill would otherwise allow.

That led to the following exchange between Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane and Messmer, the bill’s author

“The idea that you could be able to shoot sheep, do you think that’s a humane animal practice?" Lanane asked.

"Sure," Messmer replied.

"It’s not really hunting; hunters tell me it’s not really hunting.  Do you think it is hunting, to shoot a sheep?"

"Um, sure."

The amendment was soundly defeated.

Another amendment proposed the existing seven preserves could continue operating under the bill’s regulations while barring the creation of any new facilities; it, too, was overwhelmingly defeated.  The bill will be up for passage in the Senate Thursday.

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