Illinois Senate Passes Bill Legalizing Bobcat Hunting
Earlier this year, then-Governor Quinn vetoed the legislation, now with a new Governor, lawmakers will try to pass it again.
Legislation creating a bobcat hunting season passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday by a 32-17 vote.
The Journal Standard reports that the bill would allow a hunting and trapping season for bobcats. The bill still has to pass the Illinois house and be signed into law by Gov Rauner
Not everyone is happy about the legislation. According to the Journal standard, Anne Sterling, Midwestern regional director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:
Ignoring both sound science and the wishes of their constituents, the Illinois Senate made a serious mistake in passing a bill to legalize recreational hunting and trapping of Illinois’ fragile bobcat population. We strongly urge the House to vote “no” on this misguided bill when it comes before them again. Illinoisans cherish their wildlife, and don’t want to see bobcats being subjected to immensely cruel and awful practices, including painful steel-jawed leghold traps and hounding.
Former Governor Quinn vetoed a previous version of the measure on his final day in office. He said that animals, which were considered a threatened species until 1999, still need protection.
The House previously passed the bill by a 62-43 vote.
The law, if passed, would be in effect for all, but the northeast corner of Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources would issue tags for about 10 percent of the 5,000 total bobcats in Illinois per year.