Utah Gov. Signs Drone Livestock Harassment Bill into Law

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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.

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