Nebraska senator promises new push for prairie dog bill

Published: Jan. 23, 2018 at 1:49 PM CST
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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.