Nebraska Legislative Bill 747

Nebraska Legislative Bill 747

by Michael
(London, UK)

Mountain lion - photo by Craig A. Hyatt (Flickr)

Mountain lion - photo by Craig A. Hyatt (Flickr)

The Nebraska Legislative Bill 747 is deeply flawed. It has been drafted and promulgated by people who have little concern for nature or wildlife and in this instance the beautiful cougar. If they have a concern for nature it is distorted and biased.

A bill is draft legislation before it becomes law. The Nebraska Legislative Bill 747 is an amending bill. Its purpose is to amend existing legislation. It was read for the first time on January 06, 2010.

It redefines the meaning of the word "predator" and makes provision (I say) for the unregulated shooting at will of the cougar that has been so mercilessly hunted and persecuted over eons in Canada and the USA.

The introduction reads:

"FOR AN ACT relating to the Game Law; to amend sections 37-202 and 37-559, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, and section 37-201, Revised Statutes Supplement, 2009; to define predator; to provide for killing depredating or aggressive mountain lions; to provide for a permit; to provide powers and duties for the Game and Parks Commission; to harmonize provisions; and to repeal the original sections."

I have highlighted the bit that concerns me.

The bill states that a mountain lion (cougar) is a predator (nothing new there then - domestic cats are predators too!). The bobcat is also referred to as a predator.

It goes on to say that any farmer can kill a predator preying on livestock, without a permit. That on its own does not seem too bad although it opens the door for massive abuse. Who decides if the cat is preying on livestock or not? Where are the witnesses. The only witness will be the farmer and the cat! And isn't there a better way? How much livestock is killed by cougars (relatively very little)? Why not compensate farmers instead?

It gets worse. A following section reads as follows:

"Any landowner or his or her agent may kill a mountain lion immediately without prior notice to or permission from the commission if he or she encounters a mountain lion in the process of stalking, killing, or consuming livestock on his or her property. The landowner shall be responsible for immediately notifying the commission and arranging with the commission to...."

And the following:

"Any person shall be entitled to defend himself or herself or another person without penalty if, in the presence of such person, a mountain lion stalks, attacks, or shows unprovoked aggression toward such person or another person..."

These sections open the door to massive abuse as well.

Who is to say a mountain lion is "stalking livestock". A mountain lion could simply be on the farmer's property minding its own business but a trigger happy farmer can say it is stalking livestock.

The same goes for a mountain lion stalking a person. Who can tell? The judgment is made by the person being stalked and he kills the only other witness, the cat!

This is deeply flawed legislation which in effect says that people can kill a mountain lion if they want to and then justify it afterwards by claiming they were being stalked.

I am sure that there is little or no opposition to this ghastly bill. It, no doubt, will be passed into law and the population of this fine animal will decline further. They like to hunt them in Nebraska. They think as they did about 100 years ago. They just refuse to enter the modern world.

I am indebted to Greg Lyons of who wrote an article for the Feline Conservation Federation's magazine for May/June who brought this to my attention.

Michael Avatar

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Nebraska Legislative Bill 747

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Dec 06, 2010 why should it not be passed
by: Anonymous

Im a rancher in the central part of nebraska. i do agree this big cats are awesome creatures but when there have been numerous sightings in my area simple pleasures in life are basically taken away. for one in the winter you dont dare let your children go off into a pasture alone to go sledding for fear they may be attacked. mountain lions are about the only predators that i know of in our area to be able to take down a perfectly healthy cow. we havent had any problems with cattle being attacked and killed but it is a concern of ours now. i have not seen one personally but if i do see one on our land near our cattle i WILL assume they are stalking the cattle i mean seriously with plenty of food around whos not to say that the cougar isnt stalking the cattle this cats aren't stupid afterall whos gonna pass up an easy meal. and if by chance i do see one i will give it a chance let it go for a few days and if somthing gets killed that cat is toast


Dec 06, 2010 why should it not be passed
by: Anonymous

Im a rancher in the central part of nebraska. i do agree this big cats are awesome creatures but when there have been numerous sightings in my area simple pleasures in life are basically taken away. for one in the winter you dont dare let your children go off into a pasture alone to go sledding for fear they may be attacked. mountain lions are about the only predators that i know of in our area to be able to take down a perfectly healthy cow. we havent had any problems with cattle being attacked and killed but it is a concern of ours now. i have not seen one personally but if i do see one on our land near our cattle i WILL assume they are stalking the cattle i mean seriously with plenty of food around whos not to say that the cougar isnt stalking the cattle this cats aren't stupid afterall whos gonna pass up an easy meal. and if by chance i do see one i will give it a chance let it go for a few days and if somthing gets killed that cat is toast


Jun 11, 2010 Nebraska should be very ashamed
by: Maggie Sharp

In the situation where a person saw a mountain lion they could instantly assume that the lion was going to attack them, regardless of whether or not the cat is showing aggressive behaviour. It's just a heat of the moment assumption.... Which could, in Nebraska's case, lead to the death of such a beautiful creature. This bill is very misleading and so dangerous. It will indeed result in the necessary bloodshed of these cats... It's so sad, and just so cruel...


Jun 10, 2010 Nebraska Legislative Bill 747
by: Rudolph.a.Furtado

Although not a U.s Citizen its sad to note the legislation passed against "Predator cats" by the court of law.
At this rate,in a few decades, we humans will be left with "Extinct skulls" or "taxidermic body's" of most of the present day "Big Cats" to be viewed in museums, akin to the "British National History museum" which i recently visited in London.
Just a century ago, tigers were roaming in the suburbs of Mumbai city and in 2010 they are on the verge of extinction in most country's.
It doesn't take long for a species to become extinct if severely hunted and the "tiger fate" could reoccur with the Cougars in the United States of America.
Does anyone, besides naturalists and aviculturists ever remember a bird called the "Passenger pigeon"?
Natural history tends to repeat itself and the fate of the "Passenger Pigeon" could happen to the "Big cats of America".

Rudolph avatar


Jun 09, 2010 Bill
by: Michael

The bill can be seen here.



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