Utah Bill Looks to Revoke Hunting Licenses for People Who Shoot Livestock

by Will Shepard

Utah is working to establish a new bill that allows hunting licenses to be taken away for damaging livestock. More specifically, the Utah House of Representatives bill gives a judge the right to take away a hunting license if the person is convicted of shooting farmers’ livestock.

Shooting farmers’ livestock is nothing to take lightly, and Utah is addressing this issue with punishment. Representative Casey Snider and Senator Scott Sandall are sponsoring Utah’s House Bill 166. The bill is intensifying the penalty for shooting or stealing livestock.

The Utah bill also includes livestock dogs. The language in the bill says, “the Wildlife Board may not issue a reward license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration to a person who assists with prosecution for wanton destruction of livestock or a livestock guardian dog.”

Utah Bill Is Raising the Punishment for Damaging Livestock

Even though the bill is gearing towards people with hunting licenses, there are punishments for all offenders. The Utah legislative measure is classifying the criminal activity depending on the value of the damaged property.

In this case, the damaged property all pertains to the livestock. So, it doesn’t matter what the exact unlawful act against the farmers’ property is, there is an appropriate punishment.

People who violate this law will consequently be charged with a class B misdemeanor for damaging livestock whose value is $250 less. The next step up is damaging livestock with a value between $250 and $750. A judge can give out a class A misdemeanor in Utah for that offense.

Next, a third-degree felony will be given when the livestock’s value is more than $750. And finally, when the livestock is worth more than $1,500, a second-degree felony can be handed out.

As mentioned before, if the bill passes, Utah’s livestock dogs will be classified as farmers’ livestock property. Consequently, the dog belongs to the farmer if it is living with that person at the time of the offense.

This bill hasn’t been passed yet and is currently in the Senate for their consideration.