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In Utah, Drone Harassment of Livestock Could Be a Crime

Image: In Utah, Drone Harassment of Livestock Could Be a Crime

(Photo by Steve Parsons/Press Association via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 06:46 PM

Harassing livestock with drones could become a crime in Utah, the Daily Beast reports.

HB217, a bill sponsored by Rep. Scott Chew, was unanimously approved in the House on Tuesday. It now moves to the Utah Senate.

The legislation would make it a class B misdemeanor if a person knowingly uses an ATV, dog, or drone to harm or harass livestock. If the animal is killed or seriously injured and the person is a repeat offender, they would then be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

That class A misdemeanor carries a $2,500 fine and a potential one-year stay in jail.

"We see people harassing livestock with all-terrain vehicles . . . People in four-wheelers have chased down and run over calves," Larry Lewis, a spokesperson for Utah's Department of Agriculture, told The Daily Beast.

"There's no reporting of such instances now because there's no laws on the books that would require it. We feel it's going on, but it's not being reported upstream to our agencies. We feel that if people are using ATVs to do this, it follows that they will start using drones."

Chew, a rancher, said he had gotten complaints from fellow ranchers about the issue.

"I've had two different individuals contact me in more urban areas," Chew told The Daily Beast. "Their horses were frightened after a drone crashed through their fence."

Drone-manufacturer DJI said some ranchers have used drones to herd animals, including cows.

"For managing livestock, ranchers have adopted airframes to both herd cattle and monitor animals. Thanks to the ability to direct the aircraft's prop wash, drones are effective herding tools that let ranchers precisely herd the cattle over their property," wrote DJI in a press release.

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Harassing livestock with drones could become a crime in Utah, the Daily Beast reports.
livestock, drone, crime, harassment, cows
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2017-46-28
Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 06:46 PM
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