PETA sparks TN bill prohibiting drones in lawful hunting areas - WKRN News 2

PETA sparks Tenn. bill prohibiting drones in lawful hunting areas

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A new bill passed by the Senate Thursday may be of interest for some Tennessee hunters.

The bill bans drones from flying over and conducting video surveillance of Tennesseans who are lawfully hunting and fishing.

The new bill is necessary due to a push by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which is encouraging animal rights activists to catch illegal hunters in the act.

The animal rights campaign told News 2 they have sold about 70 drones to people so far and encourage them to use the unmanned aerial vehicles to videotape illegal hunting.

Senator Mike Bell of Riceville, Tenn. told a committee that a constituent brought the issue to his attention after noticing the drones being sold on PETA's Web site.

A description of the Air Angel Drones states, "PETA has come up with a drone program that can help protect animals from illegal hunting and other nasty pursuits, and you can be part of the action with an Air Angels drone!"

PETA, however, says the bill up for vote would not impact their program.  They told News 2 they are focused on "spotlighting" and other forms of illegal hunting.

Still, though, the Associate Director of Campaigns of the animal rights organization called the drone hunting bill an "embarrassment."

Click here to read more about SB 1777.

According to the Associated Press, the bill passed Thursday unanimously with a vote of 31 to 0.   The House companion bill is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday.

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