Bear bill aims to help you protect yourself and your pets

Bear bill aims to help you protect yourself
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 6:26 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 11:35 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – The bear bill going through the State Capitol aims to help you protect yourself and your pets from an attack.

It’s also designed to help farmers deal with bears that threaten their crops and livestock.

This bear encounter is what the bill hopes to prevent.

In a 31 to 3 vote the Senate passed the bill.

It would allow people to kill bears in self-defense if they are a threat to you, your pets or your property.

It also allows farmers to apply to DEEP for permits to kill bears that are a threat to their crops and livestock.

It bans people from “intentionally” feeding bears.

“This makes it very clear that if you believe yourself, your family members, your pets life is in danger that you are able to protect yourself from the bear,” said Sen. Stephen Harding (R – 30th District).

With the increase in bear attacks we’ve seen in Connecticut, local farmers we spoke with are in support of this bill if it helps protect their animals.

“It is beautiful to see wildlife coming back in Connecticut and we want to promote that. Unfortunately if there’s one that destroys the bee hives or attacks your wildlife consistently, they may have to be dispatched,” said Francis Whelan, co-owner of Hayes Farm.

Whelan said killing bears would be the last resort, but appreciates the legislature is taking local farmers into consideration.

“I think it’s a positive step for the legislative body to help farmers in need of certain situations and this is one of them,” Whelan said.

While allowing bear hunting in Litchfield County was previously discussed that idea was removed from this bill.

Next up, the measure awaits action in the state House of Representatives.

Recently, an Avon woman was attacked while walking her dog.

Living in Avon, Terese Garasson said she happily shares her land with bears, but knows to stay away.

“One time I stopped and was videotaping a mama with her cubs and she gave me her little warning. Be wise, don’t get too close. I have my children too. My mama bear comes and I wouldn’t want anyone harming my children,” Terese said.

The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives for action.

A bill that would allow certain killing of bears in Connecticut passed in the state Senate Thursday.
Bear bill passes in state Senate