Press Releases

Vermont wildlife advocates celebrate a ​big win​ ​

May 13 2022, 7:29 PM

For Immediate Release, May 12, 2022
Contact: Holly Tippett, Protect Our Wildlife, [email protected] | 802-253-1592

Governor Scott Signs House Bill 411, a Ban on Wanton Waste, into Law

STOWE, VT—Governor Phil Scott signed into law House Bill 411, legislation that represents one of the most comprehensive bans in the country on the needless killing of wildlife, known as wanton waste. The ban not only covers big game species like deer and moose, but also foxes, gray squirrels, crows, and other covered wild animals. The law goes into effect immediately.

“I am thrilled Vermont has moved forward with greater protections for wildlife by restricting wanton waste, the senseless killing of wild animals for entertainment," said Barry Londeree of the Humane Society of the United States. "The passage of this law is a sign of the growing strength of wildlife protection advocacy in Vermont."

Vermont wildlife advocates initially began working on this effort in 2018 after learning of a retired Vermont game warden who petitioned the Fish & Wildlife Board for a ban on wanton waste because of his time in the field observing wasteful hunting and trapping practices. Vermont Fish & Wildlife took no action on his petition, so wildlife advocates began working on this effort through the legislature.

“The legislation was long overdue, and we are grateful that Vermont finally has a law in place to protect wildlife against wasteful killing," said Jennifer Lovett, Conservation Biologist and Protect Our Wildlife Board Member. “I thank Representative Amy Sheldon for sponsoring this bill, and also thank my Senator, Christopher Bray, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, for understanding the importance of protecting one of Vermont’s most precious attributes, its wildlife."

The law includes an exemption for the killing of wildlife in defense of person or property. However, advocates are concerned that other exemptions may make enforcement of the new law difficult.

"We will be counting on Fish & Wildlife to actively enforce this law and also make it part of hunter and trapper education," said Brenna Galdenzi, President and Co-founder of Protect Our Wildlife. "We think that over time, this law will change the culture of killing. If someone is required to use the animal they hunt or trap, they may think twice about why they’re killing. No animal should be used merely for target practice."

 

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