We are cheering the Connecticut state senators who voted against an egregious nuisance wildlife bill that would have incentivized killing black bears and other wildlife without requiring residents to take any responsible non-lethal steps to prevent conflict.

The bill, SB 586, started out as legislation to allow a bear hunt in Litchfield County, CT. Substitute language revising it allowed any owner or lessee of property in the state to designate a hunter who has received a permit from DEEP to kill wildlife deemed a nuisance to farm animals, bees and chickens at any time of day and night.

Friends of Animals, whose headquarters are in CT, lobbied against the bill and applauds our members who reached out to their state lawmakers to vote it down.

Under the bill, hunters who get paid as designated permittees to kill wildlife could have also kept the dead animals for commercial sale or private use, thus making it very lucrative to kill the animals.

The state has not held a black bear hunt since the mid-1800s because hunting had all but wiped out the population.

We’re glad state senators opted instead for the logical, reasonable and humane legislation that requires the state to study non-lethal management methods.

The best way to mitigate human-bear conflict is for the state to require bear resistant garbage cans and fencing around bee colonies and farm animals and to increase educational outreach.

“The Senators who voted against this bill saw through the veiled attempt by hunters to promote legislation that essentially would have approved a trophy hunt of bears and other wildlife yet would not have resolved the very problems voiced by farmers and residents,’’ Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said. “If you kill a bear or coyote, another hungry one will be right behind them if proper measures aren’t taken to avoid conflict.”