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Bill would legalize Indiana fenced-in hunting preserves

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A proposal that would legalize high-fenced deer-hunting preserves around Indiana is set to go before a state legislative panel.

The House Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday on a bill that would have the state Department of Natural Resources license the preserves where farm-raised animals such as deer, elk and game birds could be hunted.

A handful of such preserves have operated without state approval for several years and previous attempts in the Legislature to legalize them have failed to win approval.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville would require new preserves to cover at least 100 acres and have fences at least eight feet high.

Wildlife officials worry the operations could spread chronic wasting disease to the state’s wild deer.