Connecticut: Black Bear Hunt Now Referendum on All Hunting?

During a Senate debate in Connecticut, a bill that may potentially reinstate the black bear hunt has become “Cecil’s Bill,” proposing a ban on importing trophies from Africa.

How did that happen?

State Sen. Craig Miner (R – Litchfield County) opened the bill up for amendments since he realized the strong resistance to hunting could lead to quick defeat. Because his county often has issues with the growing black bear population, Miner decided to make the bill into a proposal for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to consider a hunt solely in his county. In other words, the amended bill only called for scientific deliberation of a hunt in one county.

Connecticut’s Senate Majority Leader, Bob Duff, continued the amendment period. Instead of allowing the newly amended bill to face another vote, Duff added a quite drastic change. He substituted the hunt considerations with a ban on trophy importation from Africa.

This new bill about trophy importations, which resembles one that did not pass last year, deadlocked 18-18. The Democratic Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman, broke tie with a vote in favor of the ban, sending the bill to review by Judiciary Committee because of the criminal penalties related to an importation ban.

After the tension and changes in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee killed the bill. Neither a black bear hunt nor a trophy importation will become law in Connecticut this year. It has been almost 100 years since Connecticut had a black bear hunting season.

Sources: CT Post and News8

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