LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A Nebraska lawmaker known as an animal welfare advocate has failed in his quest to protect a prairie rodent that some ranchers view as pests, but is vowing to raise the issue again.
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha tried to persuade fellow lawmakers Tuesday to repeal a law that allows county officials to kill black-tailed prairie dogs on private property if a neighbor complains. Senators voted 21-17 in favor of the bill, four votes short of what was needed to advance it.
Chambers says current state law doesn’t provide adequate due-process rights to landowners who don’t mind the animals on their property.
Black-tailed prairie dogs are native to Nebraska and help preserve the region’s ecology, but some ranchers say they ruin valuable land.