House Panel Works On Wildlife Bill

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A panel of Vermont lawmakers is hoping to finish work this week on a bill designating the state’s wildlife as a public trust – an effort prompted by debate over the fate of a moose called Pete.

A bill passed last year sought to protect the moose that lives on a game preserve in Irasburg in part by declaring property owner Doug Nelson the owner of the wild animals on the farm.

Now the House Fish and Wildlife Committee is drafting a bill that would reverse that action and clarify that Vermont’s wild animals are a public trust owned by all residents of the state.

But the panel is still debating a provision that would have the wild animals on Nelson’s preserve slaughtered within five years and tested for disease.

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