Legislators to go after bear-hound safety after attack on couple, puppy – Addison Independent

Addison County lawmakers say they will consider legislation requiring safer handling of bear-hounds, following an attack on a couple and their puppy who were out on a hike.

This comes after a pack of bear-hounds attacked a couple and their leashed puppy on the Catamount Trail in Ripton last month; the puppy and the hiker trying to protect it required emergency medical care. Any time something happens that’s as dramatic and problematic as this, we need to take a pause and look at our current system of oversight,” said Sen. Ruth Hardy (D-Middlebury) in an interview with the Independent. “I don’t want to suggest that bear-hound hunters aren’t following the rules, but I think it’s reasonable to look at our regulations.”

Rep. Amy Sheldon (D-Middlebury), who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, is not convinced that the current bear-hound rules are adequate. “There’s room for improvement,” she told the Independent. “We (lawmakers) will be having a conversation about what ‘control of your hunting dog’ means. We need to have a way of bringing justice (to incidents like this).”

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