California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW): CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS TITLE 14, §251.1. Harassment of Animals. Except as otherwise authorized in these regulations or in the Fish & Game Code, no person shall harass, herd or drive any game or nongame bird or mammal or furbearing mammal. For the purposes of this section, harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal's normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding
or sheltering. Report harassment to CalTIP: 1-888-334-2258
Utah passes law against drones who harass or injure livestock
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, R-Utah, has signed into law H.B.217, a bill that keeps unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators from “harassing” livestock.
Rolled out earlier this year by chief sponsor Rep. Scott Chew, R-District 55, and floor sponsor Sen. Don Ipson, R-District 29, the legislation says “a person is guilty of harassment of livestock if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly chases or otherwise disturbs the peace of livestock” via UAS. The bill also covers harming livestock via motorized vehicles/ATVs and dogs.
For a first offense – and if the animal is not “seriously injured or killed” or “displaced onto property where the livestock is not entitled to be” – a person who is found guilty will be charged with a class B misdemeanor.
On the other hand, a person will be charged with a class A misdemeanor if it is a second offense, if the livestock is “seriously injured or killed,” or if there is livestock or property damage in excess of $1,000.
CLICK HERE for the original article in Unmanned Aviation.
Cows don’t like drones.
They’re loud, low-flying, and—in the hands of pranksters--dangerous.
But help is on the way after a unanimous vote in Utah’s House on Monday for a bill to make harassing livestock with unmanned aircraft a crime. If it passes the state senate, it might become America’s first law explicitly protecting animals from this remote-controlled menace. Cow harassment is no laughing matter, Utah lawmakers say; as drones become cheaper, the tiny aerial terrors are reportedly wreaking havoc on America’s pastures.
The bill’s sponsor, Utah Rep. Scott Chew is a rancher. But he first learned of his state’s drone problem when two constituents called to complain of drones crash-landing in their horse pastures.
“I’ve had two different individuals contact me in more urban areas,” Chew told The Daily Beast. “Their horses were frightened after a drone crashed through their fence.”
Sometimes a drone crash is just an accident, Chew said. As remote-control planes and unwieldy quadcopters become more popular, a few unmanned aircraft are bound to touch down among grazing animals. But a particular kind of malicious drone campaign is on the rise, in which troublemakers will unleash drones in “small, fenced-in areas” where animals have less room to run, Chew said. Corralled beneath the whirring blades of a teenager’s Christmas present, animals can panic or stampede.
Chew’s bill would make it a Class B misdemeanor to deliberately harass livestock with unmanned aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, or dogs. Repeat offenders could be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Utah’s Department of Agriculture doesn’t have hard numbers on livestock harassment by drone, but they suspect the cow crime is happening.
“We see people harassing livestock with all-terrain vehicles … People in four-wheelers have chased down and run over calves,” Larry Lewis, a spokesperson for Utah’s Department of Agriculture told The Daily Beast, adding that some trespassers have even shot at cows for sport.
He said the state lacks records on drone harassment because aggrieved livestock owners currently have no way to report drone crime.
“There’s no reporting of such instances now because there’s no laws on the books that would require it. We feel it’s going on, but it’s not being reported upstream to our agencies,” Lewis said. “We feel that if people are using ATVs to do this, it follows that they will start using drones.”
While a small drone might seem less dangerous than an ATV, the unmanned aircraft can seriously harm livestock.
“Chasing cows leads to stress,” Lewis said. “Cows don’t need to run much. [Doing so] can lead to death,” especially if the cow runs through a fence or another structure.
“A mama cow can end up on the opposite side of a fence as her baby, and then you’ve got an orphan,” Chew said. “Or the cow gets stuck on the other side of the fence and you’ve got trespassing livestock.”
Cows’ fear of drones is no secret on the internet, where a thriving genre of videos show famers using drones to herd cattle. The startled animals usually start stampeding away from the drone, leading some farmers to herald drones as the future of budget-friendly ranching.
Drones might one day have a place on the farm, in the hands of trained ranchers, Lewis said. But, “it depends on how you manipulate the drone. Drones can be used by livestock owners to do legitimate work for their herds in a way that doesn’t spook or stampede them.”
Widespread drone harassment might be “a couple steps down the road,” he said, but it’s a real concern in Utah.
“We see people harassing livestock with ATVs, with vehicles,” Lewis said. “It’s a sad state when people take technology and tools at their hands for mean and unnecessary purposes like harassing livestock.”
CLICK HERE for the original article in The Daily Beast.