HomeFlorida NewsFlorida House moves forward with bill allowing bear killing for self-protection

Florida House moves forward with bill allowing bear killing for self-protection

Tallahassee, Florida – A recent development in the Florida House could change how residents deal with bears on their property. The proposed bill, which gained traction this week, would allow individuals to kill bears on their property without a permit if they feel threatened or deem it necessary for protection.

Details of the Proposed Legislation

The measure, which emphasizes personal safety over wildlife protection, passed through the House Agriculture, Conservation, and Resiliency Subcommittee with a vote of 12 to 4. Bill sponsor State Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Port Saint Joe, clarified the intent behind the proposal, stating, “They’re cute, but they’re deadly. We can’t let our mushy emotions get in the way of safety. It just can’t happen.” Shoaf emphasized that the bill is not designed to promote bear hunting but rather to empower individuals to defend themselves in potentially dangerous situations.

However, the bill does come with specific conditions. It strictly prohibits the possession or sale of bear carcasses and does not apply to situations where individuals provoke the bears. Furthermore, those who kill bears under this legislation would be required to notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission within 24 hours of the incident.

Opponents of the bill argue that the focus should be shifted to improving trash management and educating the public to minimize human-bear interactions rather than lethal measures.

As the bill is filed for the 2024 legislative session, set to start on January 9th, it opens up a significant debate on wildlife management and public safety.

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker writes about local government and community events. A University of Florida graduate, she's known for insightful articles that highlight local governance and community voices in Jacksonville.


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