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Hunting dog retrieval bills

Courtesy Keith Sutton

Additional protections for sportsmen and their hunting dogs could be on the way in the California, Missouri and Georgia.

Bills making it illegal to remove a dog's tracking collar without the consent of the dog owner have been introduced in the legislature of the three states.

California Assembly Bill 2132, introduced by Assemblyman Guy Houston (R-San Ramon), is being heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The bill would prohibit the intentional removal of a dog's collar and would give the courts the ability to grant restitution for lost breeding revenues in addition to the required restitution of the dog's value.

Representative Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) introduced Missouri House Bill 2039 which makes it a Class A Misdemeanor to intentionally remove a dog's collar. The bill is currently in the House Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. This bill also requires violators to provide restitution for the value of the dog, and may also allow the courts to require restitution for any lost breeding revenue caused by the loss of the dog.

In Georgia, Senate Bill 520 was recently introduced by Senators Greg Goggans (R-Douglas), Ross Tolleson (R-Perry), Ralph Hudgens (R-Comer) and Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick). The bill which makes intentional removal of a collar a misdemeanor also requires restitution for the value of the dog. The bill passed the Senate on March 5th by a vote of 126-0. The bill is awaiting further hearings before the Georgia House of Representatives.