Vermont wildlife advocates celebrate big win

For immediate release, 12 May 2022
Contact: Holly Tibet, Protecting Our Wildlife, [email protected] | 802-253-1592

Governor Scott signs House Bill 411, Banning Random Waste, into law

STOWE, VT – Governor Phil Scott has signed House Act 411, the legislation that represents one of the nation’s most comprehensive bans on the unnecessary killing of wildlife, otherwise known as feral waste. The ban includes not only large game species such as deer and moose, but also foxes, gray squirrels, crows, and other covered wild animals. The law enters into force immediately.

“I am delighted that Vermont has moved forward with greater protection for wildlife by restricting ferocious litter, the senseless killing of wild animals for recreation,” said Barry Laundery of the Humane Society of the United States. “The passage of this law is a sign of the growing strength of the call to protect Vermont’s wildlife.”

Vermont Wildlife Advocates began working on the effort in 2018 after learning of a retired Vermont game controller who petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Board for a ban on abusive litter because of his time in the field monitoring wasteful hunting and fishing practices. Vermont Fish & Wildlife took no action on his petition, so wildlife advocates began working on the effort through the legislature.

“Legislation has been long overdue, and we are grateful to Vermont for finally having a law in place to protect wildlife from profligate killing,” said Jennifer Lovett, a conservation biologist and member of our Wildlife Conservation Council. “I thank Representative Amy Sheldon for sponsoring this law, and I thank Senator Christopher Bray, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, for understanding the importance of protecting one of Vermont’s most prized attributes, which is its wildlife.”

The law includes an exemption for killing fungi in defense of people or property. However, advocates worry that other exceptions may make enforcement of the new law difficult.

“We will count on Fish & Wildlife to effectively enforce this law and also make it part of the education of fishermen and fishermen,” said Brianna Galdenzi, president and co-founder of Protect Our Wildlife. “We believe that over time, this law will change the culture of killing. If someone were required to use the animal they hunted or hunted, they might think twice about why they killed them. No animal should be used just for target practice.”

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