Utah Bill Would Criminalize Harassing Livestock with Drones


Associated Press reports:  


A Utah lawmaker wants to send people to jail for harassing farm animals with drones, all-terrain vehicles and even dogs under a proposal that is unique in the U.S. but has gained an unlikely opponent.

Republican Rep. Scott Chew, who is also a rancher, said Tuesday that he introduced the bill last month because farmers incur significant costs and hardships when livestock are injured.

The Humane Society of the United States said the plan was redundant and may discourage members of the public from getting close enough to livestock to expose farmers' mistreatment of their animals. Utah already has a law against injuring or killing farm animals.

“The biggest concern for us is that it eliminates any kind of possibility of documenting the problems that are taking place on that property,” said Sundays Hunt, the organization's director in Utah.

Chew's proposal calls for up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for someone who purposefully drives an ATV through a herd of cattle or chases chickens with a drone and seriously injures or kills the animals. He said he has not heard of drones hurting farm animals but wants to ensure farmers are covered in case they do.

Anna Marie Vail of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said the proposal is needed. She said young people often chase farm animals for fun, and if livestock get stressed, they can simply roll over and die.

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Source:  Newsday


Pixabay photo:  CC0 Public Domain

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