Indiana lawmakers consider protecting right to hunt - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indiana lawmakers consider protecting right to hunt

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana lawmakers have delayed action on a proposed state constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right of residents to hunt, fish and farm.

The state Senate's agriculture committee had scheduled a public hearing on the proposal Monday but postponed it until next week after using its meeting time on unrelated bills.

Republican Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford says he is sponsoring the amendment in reaction to animal-rights activists who he believes are trying to interfere with legal hunting and livestock production. Steele's resolution calls hunting and farming a valued part of Indiana's heritage.

Steele's resolution calls hunting and farming a valued part of Indiana's heritage and that they should be "forever preserved."

Both the Senate and the House approved the proposed amendment during the 2011 session. If the same version is approved by lawmakers this year, it would go before voters for a statewide referendum in 2014.

Full text of the proposed amendment:

Constitutional right to hunt and fish. Provides that the people have a right to hunt, fish, harvest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products, which is a valued part of our heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject to laws prescribed by the general assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the general assembly. Provides that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. Provides that this constitutional amendment does not limit the application of any laws relating to trespass or property rights. This proposed amendment has been agreed to by one general assembly.

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