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Senate Panel OKs Bill to Put Cougar Hunting on the Ballot

<i> Associated Press</i>

A Senate committee has approved a bill that would let voters decide if mountain lions should be hunted in California, including in state parks.

The same committee also rejected a bill that would allow Californians to keep ferrets as pets.

The cougar hunting bill by Sen. Tim Leslie (R-Carnelian Bay) was approved Tuesday by a 6-2 vote of the Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee. It goes to the Appropriations Committee.

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The ferret bill by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp (I-San Francisco) received a 3-6 vote. Kopp asked the committee to consider the bill again next year.

Earlier this month, the committee deadlocked over the mountain lion bill, which originally would have overturned Proposition 117, the 1990 initiative that bans sport hunting of the big cats.

Leslie and Sen. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) worked on amendments that would let the state Fish and Game Department authorize sport hunting where lion populations are considered a problem, including in state parks.

The bill, if approved by the Legislature and governor, would have to go before voters in March, 1996, because it would modify Proposition 117.


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