According to the Guardian, a Florida lawmaker recently proposed a bill that would make it legal to kill black bears in highlands.
Republican Florida Rep. Jason Shoaf's bill seeks to eliminate most penalties for killing a bear without a permit, which would allow an allegedly drugged animal to enter a home and “infect people.” “There will be no more tearing apart,” he said. guardian report.
“We're talking about crackpots breaking down doors and tearing houses apart while standing in living rooms and roaring,” he said during a meeting of the Florida Legislature's Infrastructure Strategy Committee. Mr. Shoaf is said to have told him this. He is debating his bill.
“If you come across one of these crack bears, you should be able to shoot them. And you don't have to be afraid that you're going to be stopped, arrested, harassed, or pay a fine. That's just crazy,” the congressman said. The newspaper reported that he added this in front of the committee.
Florida lawmaker says bear cull deregulation bill targets 'endangered bears' https://t.co/ohXkqi4dVX
— Guardian News (@guardiannews) February 5, 2024
According to an investigation by the Guardian, there are no records of black bears ingesting cocaine in Florida. The lawmaker did not respond to media requests for clarification. But Shoaf reportedly said his bill “is not about bears,” adding that rules regarding animal cruelty and feeding will remain in place. (Related: Bear crashes into Colorado wedding and eats all the cannoli)
The newspaper reported that Schauff clarified that the bill targets “nuisance bears” who threaten neighbors and pets. He said opponents of the bill were “fear-mongering” by saying it would allow bears to be killed if there was no threat.
“We love bears. Bears are cute, cuddly and wonderful creatures,” said Shoaf Stay, according to the Guardian.
The bill was sent to the full chamber after passing on a party-line vote in committee, the paper said.Wildlife conservation organization One Protest launches online petition opposed Schauff's bill, which had gathered approximately 20,000 signatures as of this writing.
“These bills open the door for people to claim self-defense when bears are not a threat,” the petition states.