(AP) — Voters would decide in next year's election whether to add the
right to hunt, fish and farm to the Indiana constitution under a
proposal approved Monday by state senators.
voted 38-10 in favor of the proposed amendment, which, if the House also
approves it, would go before voters in the 2014 general election.
would join several other states adopting similar measures that
supporters say are needed because wildlife hunting and modern
agricultural practices are threatened by animal-rights activists.
senators questioned whether the provision would interfere with the
ability of local governments to regulate farming.
Steele, the amendment's sponsor, said state laws and agencies would
still cover hunting, fishing and farming and that local governments
would have whatever authority the Legislature allows.
R-Bedford, said the amendment would protect the state's $8 billion a
year in agricultural products sold and more than 950,000 residents who
hunt or fish each year from animal-rights groups organized around the
country trying to impose more limits.
they haven't spread their tentacles?" Steele said. "I merely ask you to
go to your computers and look them up."
states now have guaranteed the right to hunt and fish in their
constitutions, with all those measures except for Vermont being approved
since 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
North Dakota voters approved constitutional protection for farming last
year, making it the first state to do so.
Taylor, D-Indianapolis, voted against the proposed amendment, saying it
was unnecessary because hunting and farming are already protected by
state law and that no one is trying to change that.
wonder why we're doing these things," Taylor said. "There hasn't been
one state in the country to make it illegal to hunt and fish."
proposal was approved by wide margins two years ago in both the House
and Senate, the first of two separate Legislatures that the measure must
clear before going on the statewide ballot.