The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has turned away contentious proposals to create a bobcat hunting season and requiring the killing of captured raccoons, coyotes and opossums.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Cameron Clark moved to withdraw the proposals when the commission met Tuesday, and the panel adopted the motions unanimously, eliciting applause from nearly 100 people attending the meeting.
“We have heard from you. We appreciate the interest,” Clark said. “We do feel as though we probably need to work more with our constituencies on sensitive rules like this.”
Environmentalists and animal rights activists were so pleased with the NRC’s decision, the agency got a round of applause.
A nuisance animal proposal would have required animal control workers to kill captured raccoons, opossums or coyotes.
Erin Huang is the Indiana State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. She says she’s pleased that the state was willing to listen to the public.
“I’m very encouraged to that the DNR saw there were thousands of comments. There was far more opposition,” Huang says.
DNR Director Cameron Clark says the commission needs to better involve the public on sensitive issues like bobcat hunting.
More than 200 people attended public meetings about the proposals and more than 2,000 comments were submitted online, mostly opposing them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.