By Josh Altic
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: It is possible that Indiana voters will see an constitutional amendment protecting rights to hunting, fishing and farming in 2014. The Indiana Senate sent the amendment on to the House with a 38-10 vote in favor. If the House also approves the amendment, it will be on the 2014 general election ballot for the people to decide. The amendment would make Indiana join about seventeen other states in constitutional protection of hunting and fishing rights, including Idaho, which overwhelmingly approved a similar law last year.
Republican Senator Brent Steele sponsored the amendment and argued that it provides needed protection of Indiana’s $8 billion a year agriculture industry as well as the more than 950,000 residents that hunt and fish. Steele pointed to the reported attempts to impose limits on hunting and fishing by animal-rights activist groups to defend the need for this amendment. Concerning these activists he said, “You think they haven’t spread their tentacles? I merely ask you to go to your computers and look them up.”
Greg Taylor, a democratic Senator who disapproved of the amendment, argued that it was simply unnecessary because state law already protects hunting and farming and there have not been any efforts made to change these laws. “I just wonder why we’re doing these things,” Taylor said. “There hasn’t been one state in the country to make it illegal to hunt and fish.”