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House approves cougar-hunt bill


SALEM -- The Oregon House has approved a bill allowing counties to opt out of a ban on using dogs to hunt cougars, if voters approve the exemption in a county election.



A statewide ban on the use of dogs to hunt cougars has been in place since Oregon voters approved it in 1994.



The House approved the bill 40-19, giving it the minimum number of votes needed to pass.



The bill required 40 votes, rather than a simple majority, because of a provision in Oregon law requiring two-thirds majority to change a voter-approved criminal sentence.



Measure 18 in 1994 made it a Class A misdemeanor to use dogs to hunt cougars.



House Bill 2624 now goes to the Senate.



--Mitch Lies



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