Utah Legislature limits wildlife birth control

Utah Legislature limits wildlife birth control

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The Legislature has agreed to set limits on who can give birth control to wildlife.

Under Senate Bill 13, only someone authorized by the state wildlife department could give animals birth control or any other drug that could harm, sedate or kill them. It applies to deer, moose and elk, not cows or horses.

Alan Clark, assistant director of the Division of Wildlife Resources, says too many bizarre substances are sold over the Internet.

"They can cause damage. They harm wildlife. They can harm people. The wildlife can harm people that think they're being nice and feeding them," he said.

Some sportsmen have expressed worry that animal rights groups will begin giving birth control to deer so their population levels will reach a point that they can't be legally hunted. Clark says there is no evidence of that happening in Utah, but says it's a concern in Alberta, Canada and in the eastern U.S.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, would not apply to standard farm practices.

The measure passed in the House on Wednesday 67-to-5. Gov. Jon Huntsman will now consider whether to sign it into law.

E-mail: tcallan@ksl.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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