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Montpelier

New law bans feeding of bears

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Starting next month, it will be illegal to feed bears in Vermont, in an effort to cut down on problems between people and the animals. State wildlife biologist Forrest Hammond has said officials have received reports from across Vermont of bears seeking food at bird feeders, bee hives, chicken coops, and other sources. He said people can help by removing any food sources that may tempt the animals, using electrical fencing to protect bee hives and chickens, and using noise-making devices to scare bears that come near houses. The law repeals a requirement that the state reimburse a nonfarmer for damage by bears to livestock or bees. Farmers will still get reimbursed if their land is posted against hunting.

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