Texas Bison Estray Law Signed by Governor

For the first time in history, bison are protected under Texas' estray law.

The new law went into effect immediately after Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 174 on Friday, May 10, 2013. The measure was authored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Reps. Charles Anderson, R-Waco; Charles Perry, R-Lubbock; and Dan Flynn, R-Van.  Both the Senate and the House voted unanimously for the bill.
 
The legislative action was the result of three years of work by the Texas Bison Association.  Bison producers in the Lone Star State were shocked in 2010 when 51 bison were shot to death by a King County ranch foreman after they strayed from a neighboring game ranch. Following that incident, a district judge ruled that bison were not covered by the state's estray laws and could be shot as nuisance wildlife.  The new law includes bison in the list of animals covered by Texas' estray law and says that a sheriff or his designee may shoot a stray animal only when a perilous condition exists. If an animal is destroyed, a sheriff must file a legal report recording the incident.
 
The Texas Bison Association is most grateful to Sen. Estes, to Representatives Anderson, Perry and Flynn, and to Gov. Perry for their support.  This is a big day for Texas bison and for Texas bison producers. 

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