Legislation Emphasizes Fair Chase Hunting And Amends Game Breeding Regulations

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that emphasizes the rules of “fair chase” hunting and amends the statute that provides for the breeding of protected game animals. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jack Biddle and in the House by Representative Blaine Galliher. It now goes to the governor for his signature.

According to Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley, the purpose of this bill is to maintain the integrity and credibility of fair chase hunting. “The opportunity for the animal to escape is critical for fair chase hunting,” he said. “This is essential if hunting is to continue to enjoy the support of the vast majority of the public, both hunters and non-hunters. This support is critical to the best long-term interests of hunters, the resource and the public.” The legislation accomplishes the following in regards to fair chase hunting:

Senate Bill 137 also amends the statute that provides for the breeding of protected game animals. The old statute had been in effect for 70 years and was last amended in 1940.

“The intent of this bill is to update the old statute to reflect the financial and biological realities of today,” said Senator Biddle. “The overwhelming majority of Alabamians support lawful, ethical hunting. This legislation is critical to continued public support. Conservation officials say that the development and present-day interest in game breeding, especially for deer, could not have been foreseen in 1940.”

Commissioner Lawley expressed appreciation for the work done by Senator Biddle and Representative Galliher. “We appreciate their efforts in securing the passage of this important legislation,” he said.

Wildlife Chief Gary Moody emphasizes that this new legislation in no way changes the ban on importation of deer from other states that has been in effect since 1973. “It is still illegal to import deer and other cervids into Alabama,” he said.

            In regard to breeding, the legislation will accomplish the following:

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.