As a Conservative I want fewer regulations and infringement from the government. As a human being, I feel compelled to help animals when I am able. It is a natural reaction to want to have compassion for an injured or abandoned baby animal. Currently, an Ohioan who cares for an injured or orphaned fawn is committing a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
If someone has a fawn on his property in need of help, the only legal option besides watching it starve or freeze to death, is to call Ohio Department of Natural Resources to come and kill it.
Representative Dave Hall (R-Millersburg) is a sponsor for HB 490, which passed the House and is awaiting movement from the Senate Agriculture Committee. An amendment in the bill would permit people to care for injured fawns or fawns that are unable to survive in the wild. Hall points out the obvious reasons for this amendment.
“It’s natural to want to help an injured fawn. If ODNR finds out you have a fawn, they will come and destroy it and have destroyed a fawn in front of children who were caring for it. This is a common sense piece of legislation. It is not going to cost the State of Ohio one penny. Other states have done this and it has worked very well.”
The bill has bipartisan support. It was passed by the House with 73 Representatives voting in favor of it. It currently awaits action from the Senate Agriculture Committee. Since this would all be paid for with private money and the deer would never be released, it is challenging to foresee any objections.
Ohio previously permitted private sanctuaries to care for deer. But, that changed in 2009 when the state outlawed rehabilitation because of chronic wasting disease in deer. But, since these deer would live in sanctuaries, there isn’t a concern of them spreading any sickness into the wild.
This news report showed a recent instance where an ODNR officer killed a deer that had been a friendly “neighbor” in a small village.
Notice that the ODNR didn’t give a specific reason why the deer had to be killed.
Lynda Bowers is a Lafayette Township Trustee in Medina County. As a farmer, she has seen fawns in need of care and has felt a tremendous amount of compassion for them.
“Imagine looking into young faces trying to explain a state law requiring beautiful little fawns to starve, freeze or die from abandonment or treatable injuries.”
The Agriculture Committee will be discussing the bill this week. Compassionate activists who are supporting the amendment are asking for citizens to contact Senators who sit on this Committee and Senate President Faber ask them to keep the amendment in the bill.
Senate President Keith Faber (R- Celina) – (614) 466-7584
Cliff Hite (R- Findlay)- (614) 466-8150
Troy Balderson (R- Zanesville) – (614) 466-8076
Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) – (614) 466-6508
Dave Burke (R- Marysville) – (614) 466-8049
Capri Cafaro (D- Hubbard) – (614) 466-7182
Frank LaRose (R – Copley) – (614) 466-4823
Gayle Manning (R – North Ridgeville) – (614) 644-7613
Bob Peterson (R – Sabina) – (614) 466-8156
Shirley A. Smith (D – Cleveland) – (614) 466-4857
Here is the latest info we have as of this morning.
The bill is still in the Agriculture committee. We are hearing that even if the committee keeps the creation of deer sanctuaries in the bill, there will be an attempt to remove them when the bill goes to a full vote on the Senate floor.
HB 490 is not on today’s Senate calendar, so it would probably go to the full Senate sometime next week.
If you are in favor of keeping the deer sanctuary language in the bill, you must call your Ohio state Senator right NOW and tell them! You can find your state Senator at this link. You can also contact Senate President Keith Faber’s office at (614) 466-7584.