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Michigan HB 4250, to clarifiy the prohibition on deer and elk feeding, was introduced this week. You can follow the progress at: HB-4250. Thank you to Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Greg MacMaster for their work on sponsoring this bill. If you live in Michigan and feed the birds, you will definitely want to contact your state Senator and Represenative to make sure they support this bill. The DNR is handing out tickets. You could be next!
February 18, 2011
Meadows' Legislation Will
Clarify Michigan's Deer Baiting Ban
LANSING – State Representative Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) has introduced legislation to clarify Michigan’s ban on deer baiting by protecting individuals who unintentionally feed free-ranging white-tailed deer and elk from prosecution. Under current Michigan law, residents are prohibited from providing food for deer and elk to prevent wildlife from congregating and potentially spreading disease.
“The issue with current law is that it leaves too much room for interpretation when distinguishing between intentional and unintentional feeding,” said Meadows, who introduced a similar bill during the 2009-2010 legislative session. “We have so many outdoor enthusiasts here in Michigan who enjoy observing a variety of wildlife, or feeding and watching birds, and they shouldn’t be ticketed or charged with a misdemeanor if a deer grabs a quick snack from their birdfeeder. My plan will clarify our laws so they can continue to protect our deer population and make sure only those who intentionally break them are punished.”
Meadows’ plan will exclude residents who engage in “incidental feeding” from prosecution. Under the legislation, incidental feeding is defined as meaning that the primary purpose of the feeding is not to provide food to wild, free-ranging white-tailed deer and elk.
The issue originally came to Meadows’ attention last year when Ken Borton, an Otsego County man, was ticketed for violating the state’s baiting ban after visitors to his web cam saw deer eating from his bird feeders. Meadows’ plan has won the support of State Representative Greg MacMaster (R-Kewadin), who has championed relaxation of regulations that unfairly penalize people such as Borton.
“This is one step toward the reform that I have been working for since January,” MacMaster said. “We need to ease frivolous regulations such as this one that punish people for incidentally feeding deer.”
Michigan restricted deer
baiting and feeding in 2008 after a deer in Kent County was found
to have contracted Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). No additional cases
have been discovered. Because multiple animals congregate around feeders,
it was determined that there was a dramatically increased risk for
disease transmission if feeding and baiting continued. CWD is a neurological
disease that is fatal to deer and elk.
November 8, 2010 - 7 & 4 News gets the story right. watch it here
November 3, 2010 - DNRE Director Resigns! READ STORY
October 29, 2010 - Otsego County Prosecutor has dropped all charges against me as well!
October 25, 2010 - The Attorney General from the State of Michigan has decided NOT TO PURSUE charges against me in the DNR bird feeding case. The circuit court judge did not rule on the constitutionality of the law. The case now goes back to district court. The local prosecutor will have to decide whether or not to pursue the case. If he decides to go forward, we will have a jury trial in district court. In the meantime, I will continue to work with the legislators in Lansing to get the law changed.
(click links below for more articles and video)
State Has Better Things to do Than Worry About Bird Feeders (Mackinac Center for Public Policy)
minutes from the HOUSE STANDING COMMITTEE ON
2010 Michigan House Bill 6234 (Clarify Deer Feeding Ban Detail) Read and follow Bill *NEW LINK*
DNR says 'no chance' of changing baiting law. Read Article
DNR Press Release (The misinformation comes right from the top.) These people are unbelievable, literally!
Detroit Free Press This writer is ignorant of the facts (please read and leave comments)
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