Bear Hunting Lawsuit Ruled Moot
A Supreme Court judge in Maine has reportedly dismissed a lawsuit filed last year against Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that was meant to stop them from using taxpayer funds to fight a referendum intended to ban bear baiting, bear hunting and trapping practices.
The lawsuit specifically stated that use of taxpayer monies was an illegal use of public funds. The lawsuit was also intended to force the department into immediately responding to previously-requested Freedom of Access Act inquiries about their political activities.
Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting (MFFBH), a hunting reform group, previously campaigned to stop the use of traps, dogs and bait when hunting bears in Maine. Last November, the voters rejected the proposed ban at the election polls.
The MFFBH had also alleged that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s advocacy in opposition to the above mentioned ban was an illegal use of taxpayers’ funds.
Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler granted a motion to dismiss. She found the issue was disputable because the election had already closed. It was noted that the voters had voted the proposal down by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent. Therefore, the point of the MFFBH’s lawsuit was moot.
Wheeler did state that the group’s complaint brought up “a potentially important legal question.” She added that the issue should be considered by the court as a “live controversy.”
Robert Fisk, a reported representative and apparent spokesperson for the group Maine Friends of Animals, told the press that the rules are composed in a way in which state officials have way too much control over decisions made by the people of Maine. He concluded they “definitely need to be tightened up because it was not right, it was not fair, that the department expended so much time energy and money to defeat the referendum”.
Bear Hunting Lawsuit Dismissed By Judge