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House votes down ban on feeding wild deer

May 11, 2016

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Today, May 11 the New Hampshire House of Representatives amended a bill that would have allowed a ban on feeding wild deer.

As originally passed in the Senate, SB 384 stated "No person shall knowingly place food for consumption by wild deer if the Fish and Game Department has determined such feeding would be detrimental to the health of the deer population." The bill also required businesses to label wild deer feed with the statement "Feeding wild deer could be harmful or fatal to their health."

The House rejected the Senate version of the bill, and amended SB 384 to instead allow the Fish and Game Department to distribute information about the potential harm of wild deer feeding.

Opponents of wild deer feeding note that it can severely disrupt the health of deer, which can in turn negatively impact the state's deer population for hunting season. Testifying before the Senate, Sen. Dan Feltes noted that twelve deer in Hampton were found with exploded stomachs as a consequence of feeding. 

Others argue that an outright ban on wild deer feeding is excessive, and the state simply needs to educate the public about the harms of feeding wild deer.

"I just truly worry about Senator Woodburn's teenage daughter getting arrested because she fed a deer outside the back of their house," said Sen. Andy Sanborn. "Or some young lady in Bedford who wants to feed in their backyard and the Fish and Game are going to show up because it's become their identified no feed zone on Saturday afternoons." 

UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.

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Senator, NH Senate (2014 - present); Attorney, New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Senator, NH Senate (2010 - present); Corporate Finance Adviser; Owner, The Draft Restaurant; former Member, Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association

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