Friday, February 13, 2009

ND Senate begins debate on big-game baiting ban

Spreading corn, sugar beet waste and other bait to attract big game also could help spread livestock disease that would be devastating to North Dakota's ranching industry, advocates of banning the hunting practice say. "Baiting and feeding has become widespread in this state, and has become part of the culture in many areas," said Sen. Curtis Olafson, R-Edinburg. "It will not be easy for those who have become immersed in that culture to change. But that change must be made, for the greater good of all of our citizens." Studies by state wildlife agencies show baiting carries increased risks for the spread of bovine tuberculosis and other diseases, Olafson said during a state Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing Thursday. Opponents of a baiting ban said it would infringe on their property rights and do little, if anything, to prevent disease. During this year's harsh winter, deer are flocking to the farms for feed in any case, they said...Grand Forks Herald

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