New Mexico bill to spare wild bears stalls in Legislature

News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Legislature is showing little interest in rewriting regulations that can require the euthanizing of wild bears and other wild animals that attack humans to test for rabies.

The proposal responds to public outrage over the decision to kill a mother black bear last year following an attack on a marathon runner in the Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico.

A committee in the state House of Representatives declined Monday to act on legislation that would allow a case-by-case review of whether wild animals involved in attacks should be euthanized and tested for rabies based on animal behavior and likelihood of rabies.

The bill drew opposition from the New Mexico departments of Health and Game and Fish. State officials say the current rules ensure public safety.

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