SoCo board takes side in hunting bills

Published 10:59 am Friday, January 30, 2015

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors unanimously and vigorously opposed the legislation that called for amendments to the state’s laws regarding the feeding of game animals (HB 2343) and the right-to-retrieve without permission from the landowner (HB 2345). Ultimately, the bills were shelved on Wednesday afternoon after their first reading with the House of Delegates Natural Resources Subcommittee, but not before the county had its say.

Earlier this week, the supervisors sent a letter to Del. James E. Edmunds II (R-60), chairman of the subcommittee, requesting that the house “lay this legislation on the table where it belongs.”

Echoing the concerns of its constituents, the Board of Supervisors believe that both bills threaten the longstanding tradition of dog hunting and inhibit the ability to manage the deer population. They also said it’s simply bad legislation.

“The use of dogs to hunt deer is a centuries-old tradition in southside Virginia,” the letter stated. “It provides an effective means of controlling the deer population, which is necessary to minimize crop damage for farmers, as well as deer-related automobile accidents, affecting the budget of every household in the Commonwealth through increased insurance premiums.”

Del. David I. Ramadan (R-6) publicly vowed to resubmit the bills at the next Virginia General Assembly, but could not be reached for comment after the committee passed on his legislation.